Modigliani's "The Pretty Housewife"
True, she seems to be smiling,
Each morning she pulls her stringy
hair into a knot,
adjusts a little lace collar around the neck
of her worn black work dress.
One-eyed from birth, she is stoic.
She accepts her lot.
Her husband wants supper and sleep.
Supper and sleep.
He is a kind man.
He never looks directly at her,
avoids staring at the empty socket.
He never touches her, unless his hand
brushes hers while she is serving him.
She believes that she is plain,
not ugly, but plain.
Today she is amused
that the butcher came from behind
his fly infested market stall
to whisper in her ear,
"A small favour for an extra nice
piece of mutton?" while pinching her
ample behind with his fat
She is thinking about the butcher,
about his smell,
about an extra nice piece of mutton,
about being touched,
and she feels quite pretty.
Anita S. Pulier
Anita S. Pulier is a graduate of New York University and New York Law School. After many years of practicing law in New York and New Jersey, Anita served as a U. S. representative for the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom at the United Nations.
Her poems have appeared in online and print journals. Her chapbooks Perfect Diet and The Lovely Mundane are published by Finishing Line Press.
The Ekphrastic Review
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