Alice Harrison

Married by the Book

In my tremulous, yearning girlhood
I worshipped a young Apollo, golden-haired,
and married The collected Poems of Rupert Brooke.

He adored my pale hair and pale hands.
He also adored raven and red heads
and often left me while he swam in the Cam with chaps.

As he matured and gained gravitas
he fired my political passions, taught me mysticism
and became The Collected Poems of W.B. Yeats.

He trod softly around my dreams
and loved my fugitive soul.
In middle age he renounced his unrequited loves.

But I grew weary of men and their masculine rhymes,
formal verse, abstract nouns, end-stopped lines: my
blossomed into The Collected Poems of Sylvia Plath.

At first we were impulsive and carefree.
I thought I could take on the world and her Daddy
until I was overwhelmed and then came The End.

Now I live alone
with a whole library of Collected Poems.
I can always find a one-night stand.

Alice Harrison is a retired teacher living in Rhyl. She began writing
seriously when she joined the Open University Poets in 1992. Her poems have
appeared in several magazines.