Bruises bloom on her body
this one floating like an iris petal
curling above her eyelid,
a warning blow given by her husband
the second time she salted the soup too much.
Her husband took one sip
and slammed his soup bowl to the floor.
Another bruise is a lily pad hovering below her thigh
where once the thigh was exposed to sun
and the eyes of men who saw her for the first time
in a bikini. She was so modern and stylish
she did not even look up when her husband
bunching a towel in one hand,
tossed her a tee-shirt. Cover up now!
They’re looking at your chest
and she dared to peek below her sunglasses
at surfer boys with their laughing eyes
and Frisbees looping in graceful arcs above her head.
Maybe one would land one day. Maybe one would land now
while her husband was at the refreshment stand
buying yet another beer he would
hide in a paper bag and sip slowly
until his tension spilled over.
She would step off that towel
onto the sand and go with the surfer boys
shouting for her to join them.
She needed only a good wind to lift her
and a Frisbee spacious enough to ride in.
She would gather her skirts like living flowers,
look back at her husband shouting at her
from the open door frame of the beach cafe
and never look back again.
Robin Dawn Hudechek
previously appeared in my chapbook, Ice Angels, published in IDES: A Collection of Poetry Chapbooks (Silver Birch Press, October, 2015)
and in The Camel Saloon