New Tricks on Facebook New Tricks on YouTube

Maureen Murphy

The Poetís Wife

We have all secrets. This one
Is mine: that I sat across the table

from a great poet, the one you go on
and on about, the one now dead.

I sat across a table littered with wine and bread
crumbs, watched chewed spinach escape

his mouth, watched his young wife leave
the room, hand in hand with a flamenco

guitar player. While he sat dribbling spinach
and anecdotes about Greece, ancient and modern,

last refuge of the muse, source of all
inspiration, his wife made sweet rhythm

in the room overhead. His eyelids drooped,
his chin drifted precariously

over a half-eaten meal. He complained of past
transgressions, poems unpublished, conspiracies

waged. A remembered grievance brought him to his feet,
but he sagged back down, missed his chair, and turned into our father,

drunk on his ass on the kitchen floor while we all looked
the other way. Iím tired of these old men being the measure,

as if anything was more important than moving to exotic† rhythms,
appreciating lean-hipped and willing
flamenco guitar players.


issues about friends submit