Chum, a woman is an elaboration, not
an availability. She wants your fit,
not your mischief. Or if she chafes
at health and marries for trouble,
don’t roll her out in bubbles.
Remember the Veuve in that champagne
means Widow. Don’t be a policy,
be a puzzle. Don’t play into
her dialogues, her something
episodic. If your promises
are inaccurate, she won’t be wooed
or heartful. Won’t be photographed
or hobnobbed. A woman makes
loyalty when the sanctions
dilapidate. Makes love when the scent
is coasting, when the oven roast
makes her tongue tip crackle.
Yes, that’s the sum and sundown of it.
I tell you, chum, it’s time to come,
not time to show what’s torn.
About the Author: Tom Daley’s poetry has appeared in Harvard Review, Massachusetts Review, 32 Poems, Fence, Denver Quarterly, Crazyhorse, Barrow Street, Prairie Schooner, Witness, Poetry Ireland Review, and elsewhere. Recipient of the Dana Award in Poetry and the Charles and Fanny Fay Wood Prize from the Academy of American Poets, he is the author of two plays, Every Broom and Bridget—Emily Dickinson and Her Irish Servants and In His Ecstasy—The Passion of Gerard Manley Hopkins, which he performs as one-man shows. FutureCycle Press published his first-full length collection of poetry, House You Cannot Reach—Poems in the Voice of My Mother and Other Poems, in the summer of 2015. He leads writing workshops in the Boston area and online for poets and writers working in creative prose.