Monday, July 25, 2011

I Do

Wash hangs crooked on the line.
Peaches rot beneath the tree.
It's been a week since I could lift a finger,
a week since you put your hands on me.
Gal from church says men get to drinkin,
and you ain't to blame for what you done.
She promised that she'd pray for me
and told me to think about my son.

I do.

I had your baby in my belly
the day that I became your wife.
We didn't take no wedding pictures
cause the night before you'd blacked my eye.
The members of the congregation
filled the pews to watch us wed,
and none objected as my busted lips
struggled through my vows and said

I do.

Late that fall I had the baby,
and my boy, well, he wasn't right.
Doc says it must run in my family,
but I know it's cause you kicked me in my side.
When he was two years old I tried to run.
You caught us out in east Monroe.
That's the night you broke my arm and said,
"You know I'll never let you go."

I do.

Sheets are missing from the line.
There's fresh dirt beneath the old peach tree.
My back aches so I can barely moved,
but you ain't put your hands on me.
Gal from church says men take off.
Sometimes they just up and run.
A woman has to do whatever needs doing.
A woman has to take care of her son.

I do.

16 comments:

Fireblossom said...

You have such a knack for telling a story in a poem. This is stunning. The repeated "I do" changes meaning each time and takes us through a painful journey, with no tangible help from the church ladies. Really good stuff, MZ.

coalblack said...

hey soul sister. i'm glad to see you put those sheets and that dirt to good use. down to the first baptist they learnt me that wastin stuff is a sin. you'd be their darlin i think, bein so resourceful. ;-)

i'm leavin these here white lilies by your back door. they're good for beginnings or endings. so says margie at the june bloom boutique.

Eric 'Bubba' Alder said...

What comes around goes around.

Strong stuff, MZ!

Sylvia K said...

Unfortunately, there are all too many real situations like yours here in the poem! And you do have a talent for telling a story -- good situation or bad! Hope your week is off to a good start!

Sylvia

hedgewitch said...

Chilling, and another look at how your characters are never destroyed by the hard knocks they take, just knock back even harder. I think you see into a part of the human spirit that we don't access enough, and paint its power in your work. Well done.

ayala said...

Great stuff,MZ!

mac said...

Great telling of a shitty situation !

Like it.

I do.

Daydreamertoo said...

Wow... Filled with pictures of busted lips and brusies ...
I'm glad she stayed strong and sorted it out for her and her son.!

happygirl said...

I do, love the telling of the tragic and complex. Yes I do.

Heaven said...

sad and poignant ~

seeing another side of you...grittier and sharper... i like it~

Steve Isaak said...

Love this, perfect work with it able use of refrain and progression.

Evelyn said...

exceptional fucking poem.
fucking amazing.
WOW.

Buttons said...

Yeah I was hoping he was going to disappear. Great wording. B

Belinda said...

Goose bumps good!

haikulovesongs said...

powerful! and i agree... fucking amazing! you are a POET among poets!

Anonymous said...

"She promised that she'd pray for me
and told me to think about my son." ... Ouch. Such a great help.

"That's the night you broke my arm and said,
'You know I'll never let you go.'" ... [sigh]

You know, I read this differently. I thought he had killed your son and taken off. I thought "doing what has to be done" meant that you had to bury your son. But then I read coal's comment and realized what I had missed.

You are so talented.

~Shawna