3.Avatar Review
     A Review of Poetry, Prose, and Art - Summer 2001

Narrow Courtroom

Poems by Pamela Moore Dionne

I married Paul Scheftel two months after we met. He goes to temple as trusted as Papa.
Pale hands hang from his sleeves, fingernails as seamed with ink-crust as Papa's.

My husband is a greasy sludge, a chancre. At tea this morning he struck me,
unprovoked. The flat of his hand is damp and cruel, unjust as Papa's.

We seldom speak. His eyes, bloodshot fever spots, peer from fleshy enclaves. Some days
he is too ill to see patients. He lolls in his study, pretends his desk was Papa's.

He knows nothing of my poet, my friend. Even after months of marriage,
I cannot tell him. Jealousy is blood to him. His patience easily tested as Papa's.

Freud says I must bind to my husband. Forget Jung. Forget the dream of Siegfried.
I am pregnant. Food gags me. Paul is repulsive, his scowl disgusting as Papa's.

Yesterday, Paul's mother refused to see him. I do not please her, though I try.
She tells me I am not womanly; her condor eyes brow-crested as Papa's.

I work, teach, write. Paul's medical practice falters with his absence.
Creditors howl at our heels. He tells me he wants the same trust as Papa.

I am the same Sabina who once dreamt herself married. I was a child then.
Some marriages are narrow courtrooms where no husband is as just as Papa.

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