The Farmer’s Wife Slips Out of Her Body
From this distance, my husband seems so small.
Like water over mill wheels, he moves through dreams
in one direction. If I call to him from this great height: we
had a life no one thought practical–
will he look up and will he answer me?
Love and work will kill him. I’ve seen his eyes
study the clouds, heavy with ridicule,
too late. But what if there were better lives,
some way we always think that it should be?
Our days filled with a furious constancy,
rise through the rain. We are not what we became.
I have looked into the palm of his hand
cupped under the well-pump and don’t know why
he doesn’t scream out loud.
The farmer and his wife–
Tom and Jane–two marks
over one grave. Now he sees my face
in the light on a pool of standing water…
from a whisper of dark,
honeysuckle in the meadowland,
I breathe out the last of my heart–
We have lived as if this is commonplace.
Lois Roma-Deeley is Poet-in-Residence at Paradise Valley Community College in Phoenix, Arizona. Rules of Hunger and northSight are her published two full-length collections of poetry. Roma-Deeley’s poems have appeared in numerous literary journals and anthologies nationwide. Her poetry has earned her many awards and honors. Roma-Deeley is collaborating with visual artist Beth Shadur for the Poetic Dialgoue Project. In addition, she is working with composer Christopher Scinto on a jazz opera.