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Category: Kate Lebo

A Prayer to Cathy McMorris Rodgers for the Right Reasons to Wed

I got married this June, years after my family

never asked what I was waiting for.

Work and beware any love that’s jealous

of work, they meant but didn’t say, nor:

the HOV lane to misery

is marrying a charming man too early.

And they were right! Naturally,

they did not believe in divorce.

Who does? my husband says.

He’s embarrassed of his split

though not of me, and this

is a clause of our understanding.

He never thought he’d have a second wife.

I never thought marriage could feel

like a breakfast fruit, like something

I’ll get my nail under each day to peel clean.

Cathy, since your people won the House

the affordable option for health insurance

was to marry this man with benefits.

At the obstetrician’s they’ll call me geriatric,

but I’ll be covered. My husband’s body may break down,

but we’ll be covered. If, at the end of nursing him

through the final extremity we cannot today afford to imagine,

I commence my glamorous third act,

that, too, will be covered.

Is that how you imagined the women of your district?

Un-covered by their own work?

Swooning for the romance of deductibles?

For my third act I’ll need his grandmother’s furs,

I tell his mother, but silently,

like a good daughter-in-law,

putting in the time love can’t guarantee.

We’re in the magic hour, Cathy,

and we know it. I’m getting used to diamonds,

to scavenging for little pots and trays in which

they may wait while I wash my hands.

Sometimes when I’m in a hurry,

I forget to put my ring back on

and go out like that, barehanded,

like I haven’t been promised anything.

from Poetry Northwest WEBMore by Kate Lebo from the library

Copyright © Kate Lebo
Used with the permission of the author
on behalf of Poetry Northwest.

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