by Barbara Kreader Skalinder



Freshman year – Hell Week hazing
found you bathed in lust.

If only Mrs. Davis LCW
had confirmed your fear you were gay.

Instead you,

the boy I chose,
called me nymphomaniac
on our wedding night,

                                                         and I agreed,
                                                         put away
my ice-white chemise.

the man I still loved, phoned:
Rescue me. I’m obsessed
with men in jeans,

                                                         and I became anorexic
                                                         so you could come
                                                         with me in my Calvins.


the husband I still wanted, hedged:    
The “Playgirl” you found –
I bought it for you,

                                                         and I morphed
                                                         into Victor Victoria,
                                                         a woman being a man being a woman.

the man I no longer knew
insisted: Only you think
I’m gay. I’m just stressed,

                                                         and I colluded
                                                         with this crazy-making confusion,
                                                         afraid to be alone.

The father of my children announced
Your mother is leaving me –
 she is mentally ill

                                                         and I, the family’s
                                                         designated bad guy,
                                                         took the hit.





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