Two Poems


by Lois Marie Harrod (June 2020)

Couple, Emil Nolde, 1931-34



An Impersonal Sonnet


She said she would not write a sonnet for

him, no, not him, not he who left the bed

unmade, the kitchen counter dirty, floor

unswept, not he who always wanted sex


at five am, no, no, she would not write

a sonnet for that man, not he who left

his socks inside his stinky boots, the lights

on in the attic, the darks inside her head


because she would not hurt him, not him fixed

like an ever-fixed crumb upon the table,

unshaken, he said, in his love, unmixed

in his affection what e’er she did, that fabled


guy who kept on bearing her to the edge of doom,

the man who admitted no impediment, that one



The Woman Who Painted Her Nails


liked to look at them

as she sat

with other women,

at lunch or book club,

even at meetings of the board,

sometimes holding them

before her

as they talked

as if to say stop, stop,


you rather admire

these perfect pink ovals

than your ragged concerns

about justice and truth.

We, who had been beauty,

do not mention

the VOCs and DBPs

the toluene and formaldelhyde

that make possible

our well-groomed claws.


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Lois Marie Harrod‘s 17th collection Woman was published by Blue Lyra in February 2020. Her Nightmares of the Minor Poet appeared in June 2016 from Five Oaks; her chapbook And She Took the Heart appeared in January 2016; Fragments from the Biography of Nemesis (Cherry Grove Press) and the chapbook How Marlene Mae Longs for Truth (Dancing Girl Press) appeared in 2013. A Dodge poet, she is published in literary journals and online ezines from American Poetry Review to Zone 3. She teaches at the Evergreen Forum in Princeton and at The College of New Jersey. Links to her online work


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