PF detail from Pierre-Auguste Renoir - Beach Scene, Guernsey (Children by the Sea in Guernsey) - 1883;


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Last updated:
May 2009


Carol Lynn Grellas is a two-time Pushcart nominee and the author of two chapbooks: Litany of Finger Prayers, from Pudding House Press and Object of Desire newly released from Finishing Line Press.  She is widely published in magazines and online journals including most recently, The Smoking Poet, Oak Bend Review and Flutter, with work upcoming in decomP, Thick with Conviction and Poetry Midwest  and Best of Boston Literary Magazine. She lives with her husband, five children and a blind dog named Ginger.


The Goodwife

The good-wife does not complain,
she never refuses her mad-love husband.
When the quarrel is over
she lies upon the mattress
her breasts unaware of the argument,
her heart unwrapped and open.

The good-wife closes her eyes and counts
the flowers in a hundred rows, listens
to the bees near the window-box
waits calmly for the song of the bluebird;
a make-believe friend, a delicate
somebody through better or worse.

The good-wife shrinks to a merciful size
in a shade of yellow, but soft and sweet
as the conga rose holding the dew
like translucent tears, when sorrow seeps
and rolls from the sepal, beyond the ring
of the flower’s calyx.

The good-wife says there’s no need for sadness
she holds forgiveness within the sheets
and bends her bones in origami shapes;
master performer, artist of body-folding.
Inside her mind she vanishes awhile
through a virgin’s breath, smaller

than truth, lost in a chasm but a familiar
arroyo. These are the times she doesn't
hear him; his distant moan like the sound
of thunder miles away. He holds her body;
a delicate bloom and while he sleeps,
she removes all thorns that pieced right

though his needy ache, she puts her lips
to every wound, absolving pain until it’s her own

Artemisia Gentileschi “Agauto”