The Bride Who Became Frightened When She Saw Life Opened

After a painting by Frida Kahlo

She hasn’t read a book in seven years
he doesn’t like the light on
if she gets in before him     he says nothing
she could read all night
but the thing is     he’s in bed by nine
every night     every night she has
something to do     she folds their washing
in three piles on the kitchen bench and once
he’s passing through     and it’s on his way
so     she asks him to take one pile
the kids’ clothes     put them on the bed
that’s all she asks     he wouldn’t have to open
a cupboard or a drawer
but he refuses     another time
she’s peeling potatoes and stacking dishes
and showing Sonya how to tie a shoelace
in a double-knot     she asks him to take the rubbish
out     but he says no     why should he?
she’s closer to the door and she says
for the first time ever     about anybody
I hate you     to the window
as if she’s talking to herself     or talking
about the weather and she goes back
to peeling the potatoes.

Gayelene Carbis (Victoria)

Previously published in MUSE — Canberra Arts Magazine

1 comment:

  1. I can't find the right words to express how this poem makes me feel. I guess, that's what it did, it made me feel. So much of ourselves can be lost in everyday living, and yet, a poem like this gets born.


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