The housewife and the sea monster

Stroking the length
of its silver hide,
she coaches women
across the TV stream,
on creating
for just the
ordinary rabble of one’s life,
a feast.
The feast requires chopping,
slicing,
peeling,
dicing,
and washing,
so much washing
of this large, black
sea monster.

We are told in retrospect
that the postwar wife was timid,
terrified,
to speak out, or up,
against her husband or her
bridge club.
Yet this debutante,
this doily-user,
her crinoline rustling
under apricot and lace,
watched our woman Julia
over, and over
and over again.
Year after year
as the girdle grew,
and the children ran off
to school.
She watched.

How timid could the
housewife had been,
to watch this monster skinned and fileted,
taking notes
as she perched on the arm
of the doiley’ed sofa,
arming herself
with her first real knife,
inhaling
as she pierced the skin,
exhaling
as flesh revealed itself
on her golden
laminate
kitchen counter.

How timid and afraid
was that woman
and what does that
say of us,
who simply peel
a plastic sheath
from an armament of waxed
and printed card,
stick this casket
of food product
into a box,
and call the
glistening glop
we pull from radiation,
our dinner?

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