nice one ruth

Poetry Breakfast

by Ruth Bavetta

Fifty years I worked
the sewing machines.
Kept on even after I married
the salesman with the curly hair
and wide smile. I was past marrying age
by then and glad enough of him.

The vacuum cleaners didn’t sell,
so when I got home from work
he was always there, smiling. It was a year
before I found the bottles hidden
behind the radio. I never learned
to drive, took the bus to work,
but I paid for the house,
and the new car when his broke down.

After they cut off his cogliones
because of the cancer
I divorced him so the State would pay
the hospital and the doctors.
He died anyway.
I’d do it again, though, marry
a man who smiles.

Ruth Bavetta’s poetry has been published in Rattle, Nimrod, Tar River Review, North American Review, Rhino, Poetry East, Atlanta Review, Poetry New…

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