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Monday, April 14, 2014


by Sharon Lask Munson

She doesn’t laugh when he proclaims
before their wedding
he will be the one
to bring in the money, dole it out.
All he expects in return—
three meals a day
and a lot of you know what.

If it were ten years later
she might have read
Betty Friedan’s The Feminine Mystique
or Kate Millet’s Sexual Politics,
might have seriously questioned
her choice of a mate.

Eventually breakfasts of bacon and eggs
turn into cheerios and cold milk.
Still, she sets up, dishes out, pours.

In due course she finds a job
refuses to hand over her paycheck—
continues with meals, irons his shirts
empties ashtrays, plants roses, dahlias
deals with the plumber when the sink clogs,
the construction guy for the new thermal windows

until early one morning,
as the bleached sun
bursts through gray smoky clouds
she walks out of the house
leaving her key in the lock

ignores the morning paper
tossed on the porch,
takes no notice of
milk in the milk chute
beginning to sour.

No note is left on the mantle,
no witness driving by takes notice,
no neighbor glances
from behind lace curtains

and like Harry Houdini’s escape act—
she squares her shoulders,
tightens her grip on a small valise,
quickens her pace
and disappears into tomorrow.

Sharon Lask Munson is the author of the chapbook Stillness Settles Down the Lane (Uttered Chaos Press, 2010) and a full-length book of poems That Certain Blue (Blue Light Press, 2011).  She lives and writes in Eugene, Oregon.