the widow

NovPAD Day 21 (use words: button, hold, not, sweep)

the widow keeps his buttons
(brass)
and she’s glued them
to the oven door

likes to hang her tea towels there

in his black shoes
(leather)
she grows mint, parsley
and chives

she has cut out their tongues

his old favourite hat
(woollen)
holds eggs on the bench
a brown, motherly nest

such satisfying domestication

and with the broom
(straw)
she sweeps dust into 
cracks between floorboards 

happily burying her under-story

8 thoughts on “the widow

  1. Wow, this alludes to so much. It took a turn at the last line which then gives a different slant to the whole story. Though I got a hint of a chill at “she has cut out their tongues” but also enjoyed how she crafted the shoes. Such a great contrast at play here, the cosiness of the domestication (love the eggs in the hat detail, something so cosy about it!) playing off against the dark undertones hinted at.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Sunra! You’re so observant! It was meant to be feminist. I had the word toxic to weave in and I thought of a toxic marriage. So all the things she does are kind of ways to reduce her husband’s power over her. Right at the end I thought maybe she’d killed him. But I don’t know. I’m not sure about the ending.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Mmmm, it kind of hints at that now you mention it, but to me it felt like he’d died of natural causes or clumsiness or fate, as befitted him, and she’s enjoying the peace now he’s finally gone.

        I know what you mean about the ending. It’s almost there. It’s the word “toxic” I think – it somehow gives too much away. Cause you’re naming the thing for the reader instead of continuing to allude to it like the rest of the poem does. Does that make sense? Just my opinion.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. That sounds very reasonable. I think I’ll take the word toxic out and have a play with it. I mean in the end the poem is more important than the rules of the prompt. :-). Thanks so much for your help and thoughts.

        Liked by 1 person

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