let me be your june cleaver by Kerry Gilbert

let me be your june cleaver—black-and-white cheek bones crisp and bold. i will splash some brazen pink on the dining room table, with orchids i grew in the greenhouse. the children will be: well-fed with freshly grown organic beef-steaks; well-bathed in lavender oil; well-loved and happily reading joseph campbell at their homeschool desks. i will chill your martini, dry—straight up, and sip on one too, to float smoothly into a sepia radiance. 

you can tell me about your day, selling houses in this down-time—how it’s a bear market. 

and, i’ll tell you about the chapter i read in a thousand plateaus, while i folded tiny socks, while i scrubbed floor tiles, while i kneaded whole wheat bread, while i made playdough, while i changed cloth diapers, while i answered emails, while i paid the bills, while i took the garbage out, while i taught the kids geometry, while i showered and applied artful face colour—for you 

and then i’ll show you the chapter i wrote, in my next verse novel, while i grow orchids and stir martinis, dry 


Copyright © Kerry Gilbert. Originally published in Tight Wire (Mother Tongue Publishing, 2016).


Kerry Gilbert lives in Vernon, where she teaches Creative Writing at Okanagan College. Her first book of poetry, (kerplnk): a verse novel of development, was published in 2005 with Kalamalka Press. Her second book of poetry, Tight Wire, was published in 2016 with Mother Tongue Publishing. Little Red, is a new poetry collection to be published with Mother Tongue in spring 2019. Gilbert has won the Gwendolyn MacEwen Poetry Award for Best Suite by an Emerging Writer and has been shortlisted for ReLit and for the Ralph Gustafson Prize for the Best Poem.

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