Charity to Her Husband Upon His Arriving Home Late
If you think this serene look has anything to do
with motherly love, Husband, you are mistaken.
It may be the poppy tea I drank after you left
for the Senate this morning, when this babe,
suckling so contently at my breast, was screaming
her bloody little head off. Or, perhaps, the three cups of wine
I consumed at lunch, after I finally got that sweet sleepy-head
I’m covering with a blanket as you stagger through
the front door, toga in disarray, to sleep.
Do I discern a slight flush under your beard?
That late meeting, was it, possibly, held in a brothel?
Take this naked little fellow off my hands.
He’s been grabbing and pulling at me all day.
I’ve wanted to smother him in the folds
of my billowing red robe for the last hour.
While you’re at it, put that smelly bird he’s so afraid of
back in its cage. When I told you I didn’t want chickens,
why did you buy a pelican? She never lays eatable eggs,
just pecks and pecks and pecks away at her breast,
bleeding all over the palazzo. Please, show some charity
to our slave who must scrub the floors.
Gillian Nevers’ poems have appeared in Silk Road,Wisconsin People and Ideas, Pearl, Pirenes Fountain, Verse Wisconsin, Right Hand Pointing, Architrave Press, Heron Tree Review, Silver Birch Press and other print and online literary magazines and anthologies. She won second prize in the 2008 Wisconsin Academy of Sciences, Arts and Letters statewide poetry contest and was nominated for a Pushcart Prize in 2011. Gillian lives in Madison, Wisconsin with her husband, Dan.
The Ekphrastic Review
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