Impressions of the Couple in American Gothic
Rigid and righteous come to mind,
a rectitude unbending.
The children under their domain
lived constant reprimanding.
Insolence or levity
was cause for nip-in-budding;
obey, and eat the Lord's hard bread
but seldom, pleasure's pudding.
Did high lace collar, sober dress
hide bosom-heave of passion,
or did mere thought of hand-on-breast
hold tincture of transgression?
Feed the hogs and shuck the corn;
at dusk and dawn, the milking.
Hoe and bake and scour and weed.
Relaxed was time for quilting.
The Bible, Farmer's Almanac,
his pipe, her constant mending
forged taciturn companionship,
their dusty decades binding.
We parody such rectitude;
perhaps we've grown too mellow,
once moral terra firma changed
to quiverance of jello.
Lark Beltran, originally from California, has lived in Lima, Peru for decades as an ESL teacher. Many of Lark's poems have appeared in online and offline journals.
The Ekphrastic Review
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