"Poetry is thoughts that breathe, and words that burn." ~Thomas Gray

"Poetry unites." ~Anon

"Truth is such a rare thing, it is delightful to tell it." ~Emily Dickinson

Written by Arlene Ang
She lives in Spinea, Italy
Her website: Arlene Ang

Previously published in The Desecration of Doves (iUniverse, 2005)

Women in Love

It is the pillbox hat I remember most, a Paris
green with matching veil. In our house, au pairs

came and went. She lasted two years, smiled
rarely. Under her instructions, my mother slimed

fish, towel-dried glass jars. We ate raw
tuna, babbled in Japanese. Father called it war,

snatched saké from her hands. He was never sober.
We got used to padding around in terry robes.

Her power suit spiked him, every room was mined
territory. In time, my mother burned her denim

pants, the linen dresses, tinged her hair ocher,
took to strolling in the country. My summer chore

was to tend the lawn. I saw them under the peach
tree once: a cutting moment. There was nothing cheap

about her lipstick as it stained my mother's pale
neck. From afar, I heard the church bells peal.

Posted with consent from the writer.


  1. WHY? said...
    This would make a wonderful book, I want to keep reading about these lives!
    Dave King said...
    Yes, it tells you enough to leave you wanting more. Some excellent turns in the poem.
    Anonymous said...
    this has such a lovely twist!
    RachelW said...
    What a visual treat! I felt like I was looking on, watching the tale unfold...
    K.Lawson Gilbert said...
    Wow! that last image was unexpected...and totally what the poem was about. Bravo. I agree - write a book!

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