The Mistress Speaks / August 2008

She has seen me.
I stop his
arm from swinging
as he walks in summer
on Cape Ann.
I push his hope of love-
making —
Oh, he feels good.
But she sees me stiffen
him and then
whatever saviors
she and he might have been
for each other, they are about to be
no longer.


He does not say aloud what I whisper
in his ear   Par  kin   son’s     rather
Rotator cuff is bothering me.
My possession. They cannot know


that when he inhaled the insect-
i-cide thirty years earlier, I’d now be
his. I am the best kept secret.
Until she sees me. No one
is crawling on their knees just yet.
It will be months before I bring them down.


Photo by Kyle McEvoy on Unsplash

Reprinted with permission of the author.

Previously published in The Mistress, 2016, 3: A Taos Press

Catherine Strisik

Catherine Strisik, poet, teacher, editor is Taos, New Mexico’s 2nd Poet Laureate 2020-2021 with an enlivening Poetry in Nature project; ...more