Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Poem: The Wyfe Addresseth Her Husband

Forgive me, Chaucer. But I felt I must pay thee some homage, otherwise I fear I should still be married.

The Wyfe Addresseth Her Husband

Well, look who’s here at half past four!
And lest thou fill’st my ears with more
Excuses, fables, why’s, wherefore’s,
And hitherto untold folklore—

Shut up! I’m speaking! Close thy mouth!
You tell me north, you give me south.
What was it this time? Let me guess:
A broken wheel? A frilly dress

Is probably the reason why
Thou smell’st of perfume, piss, and rye.
I said shut up, thou drunken lout!
I’ve half a mind to throw thee out!

Half a mind! Take heed of that
With all the half a mind thou hast.
Thy brain’s a flag stuck at half-mast.
I would I’d wed a monkey’s ass.

What tumbles from a monkey’s hole
At least hath substance, if not soul.
Thou hast neither. Look at me!
I might as well talk to a tree!

I might as well, for all my braying.
And how long is thy brother staying?
Lying feckless on the floor.
Thou said’st t’would be a week, no more.

And if my memory serves me right,
You promised on our wedding night,
A honeymoon of thirty nights.
You did! You said the Isle Of Wight!

Ha! What a laugh! I’m laughing still!
I should have married Eustace Mills.
He’s a doctor! Fancy that!
He hath a wife. A child. A cat.

Fifty acres rimm’d with trees.
(I hear he winters in Belize.)
You took the best years of my life!
A withered womb, a wasted wyfe.

Now get to market! Thou hast legs!
We’re out of milk, and low on eggs.

--Arthur Greenleaf Holmes, 1587

No comments:

Post a Comment