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Thursday, July 25, 2013

THE CANDIDATE MAKES A PUBLIC STATEMENT ON A PRIVATE MATTER,
HIS WIFE AT HIS SIDE

by Michael Cantor





There’s something in the rules, I guess, to make
them brave the scene, dead pale, beside the jerk,
because they all endure it; none will shirk
the role, not one has said, Give me a break,
you asshole, can’t you tell how much I ache –
you’re on your own  – instead, she takes her place
and stands there, shaking,  life drained from her face
as hubby asks the world for time and space.  

There is no way, José, I am forewarned,
you’d ever see me shame myself like that.

I change the channel, give her knee a pat, 

suppress a little joke on women scorned.

I'd like to think she’d stand by me, but still, 

I’ve never run for office, never will.


Michael Cantor’s full-length collection, Life in the Second Circle (Able Muse Press, 2012), was a finalist for the 2013 Massachusetts Book Award for Poetry. A chapbook, The Performer, was published in 2007; and his work has appeared in The Dark Horse, Measure, New Verse News, Raintown Review, SCR, Chimaera, The Flea, and numerous other journals and anthologies.  He was also a finalist for the Nemerov (twice), Richard Wilbur and Robert Penn Warren poetry competitions; and has won the New England Poetry Club Gretchen Warren and Erika Mumford prizes.  A native New Yorker, he has lived and worked in Japan, Latin America and Europe, and presently resides on Plum Island, north of Boston on the Massachusetts coast.