Polygamy - Kathy FitzGerald

It is best to be the first wife

the first wife professes
sitting on her stool,
her full and rounded hips
mushrooming over the sides.
His first love,
she resembles a rock
that stands above a river bed
erupting memories of long ago
and smoothing them like
pillows of fufu.

I prefer being second
the second wife proclaims,
her youth still standing up
to the weight of motherhood
and water jugs and washing days.
She, a tree blowing in the wind
of yesterday and today,
still holds her branches
high and wide,
perpetually looking
back and forth.

And the third one
young and hardened by her power
remains silent. For she knows
she is the last one.
She knows the faucet
of his manhood
runs slower
as the hours coarse through his veins.
She leans against the cool cement wall
one slender leg tucked under her,
a black cloaked flamingo—
each feather
a soft propeller of freedom
she guards like an unhatched egg.
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