Making the bed

Lie in the bed you’ve made,
I was told: shorthand for all
that we supposedly could not

take back: the word or pledge
that others came to witness,
after which a cake was cut

with one beribboned knife,
and mouths were stuffed
to gagging with sugary

crumbs amid laughter
and drunken cheers.
Later, when the bed

was sheathed in anger
and hot tears, I tried
to figure out how virtue

lay in waiting for what
might not ever change.
Every morning I sought

to tuck the corners in
as tight as I was able—
By then I had daughters.

By then I could not
afford to wait for some
questionable deliverance.

 

In response to Via Negatia: Sailor's wife.

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