#2,386 Stand-in

mike bell poems poetry

She loathed her life-missed father
& her too-present mother –

Of love?
A won treaty
[to do over others was
her education by her forebears] –

A
fear of not being seen –
by one who
kept her head down –

shrinking if a
word was offered as an offend –

Off
in opposition to a smile –
darting &
waiting to be smothered by a lover
of any kind –

but street courtesies
of idle chatter were less embraced
[instead sup of solace in bed] –

It was
a quiet-led life without a mistress

they said
[again & again] –

He slept
better in a narrow bed with sheets
& his own breath’s sweet scent –

In a
while she does Whipping Post Lane
in high heels –
there she would trip –

A
comedy on repeat under his view –
for her a trick-laden cobbled route