Epic Poetry
Michael Mack



The Last Words of Mary Dodd

The funeral had been quiet - just the family - nothing more
They'd laid her in her final resting place the night before.
He sat now, going through the things that she had saved through life
This woman who, for fifty years, had been known as his wife.

The clothes he placed into a pile - the perfume for the daughter.
He smiled at all the trinkets and cheap jewelry he bought her
And, way up on a shelf where he had never thought to look,
He reached his hand up high and came down with a ledger book.

He opened it...saw birthday dates - some cooking recipes,
Some facts of little consequence - some homemade remedies
Then, way back on the final page he happened to explore,
He saw some notes she'd written down who knows how long before.

She wrote them in a quite strange way - not like a diary...
It read more like a news report or some biography.
He read the first line, then the next, then sat down on the bed,
His eyes refusing to believe the poignant words he read....

My name is Mary Dodd
I am 55 years old
I am 5'1"
I weigh 155 pounds
I am vain enough to believe
I carry it well.
I have known one man
in my life.
My husband is a
hard-working man.
I have birthed
two children.
I have never made love.
My satisfaction
has never been
a priority
or concern.

"What gibberish was this?" he thought. She'd not made love indeed!
He gave her years of pleasure every time he felt the need!
He almost tossed the book aside like more junk to discard
But her next words jumped off the page and hit him very hard.....

I have corresponded
with another man.
He is warm and caring
makes me laugh
makes me feel
puts a smile
on my face.
I will lose 15 pounds
then send for him.
He will come.
He will want to make love.
I will allow him
to do so.
He will take me to a
darkened room where
I will surrender myself
to his touch.
I will experience
one time
all joy and pleasure
unoffered to me
until now.
I will do so
without guilt
without regret
without fear.
He will guide me
and I will follow
happily like a child.
I will smile
most importantly
I will feel

I will lay in his arms
for a time
then get up
touch his lips
with my finger.
He will know that
this will be
the only time.

"The dirty rotten slut!", he screamed. His voice was filled with rage.
He had to force himself to not tear out and burn the page.
He never thought her sexy or not even good in bed
And, all the while, she passed it out to other men instead!

My life will continue.
I will wash
be the perfect wife
I have always been.
On rare occasions
that I am called upon
to perform
I will function
doing what I must
to validate
my man's opinion
of himself.
when burdens of the day
become overly heavy
I will release
from my treasure chest
of memories
those precious moments
of that day then
when I lay
amid rumpled sheets
a desired
My husband will never know.

By now nighttime had fallen and her words had hit their mark.
He sat alone, a huddled figure weeping in the dark.
He thought of how he treated her-his lackey, fool and slave
And never realized her worth til she was in the grave.

"I'm sorry, girl", he whispered to the book. "I should have known
It wasn't right ignoring you and leaving you alone."
Had these words been a fantasy or did she really go?
In that regard, she'd been correct - he'd never really know.

© Michael Mack



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