Master, Man, and Woman

Frankly, my wife hated him, but

I said we had no choice. She

Would mutter, burn the cabbage,

Bang pots when it got late (he never

Noticed anyway).

I, on the other hand, always

Like to act. So I spat on

The floor, tugged my beard, and

Invented peasant wisdom. "You know,

Mr. Tolstoy, no amount of

Tobacco juice will wash a man clean."

From the kitchen I heard

Chortling, but from

Across the table, a heavy sigh.

First published in Poetry.