Disquieting, the face
of a three hundred year old
virgin, a woman at thirteen.
Those who view it become riveted
by dimensions: height of brow,
breadth of gaze, depth of disdain
for lechery. Seated, an ingénue,
blushing, parental property reared
to marry, to breed, to forgo
dreams of that starry Romeo.
Standing, the husband-
to-be who will soon prick
her hard-earned hymen, grunt
at his reward of shock, dutiful panic.
He will teach her more than cittern
or how to take the head, just so.
Move closer, pilgrim. Closer.
See her relief, the frigid smile.
This is a welcome interruption.
The girl child is no fool.
Believe it. She knows the score.
The torrid instruction of wifery
merits all or any reprieve.
This poem was written as part of the 20 Poem Challenge.
Cyndi MacMillan poetry has recently appeared in Grain Magazine and the Fieldstone Review. Her verse, short fiction and novel-in-progress resentfully compete for her attention. She lives in New Hamburg, Ontario, home to North America’s largest working water wheel. Coffee and family allow ideas to percolate.
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