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.
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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