The Poor Man's Bride
Penniless, he built his bride
a house with no roof or walls,
only a door of twisted twigs.
Most days, she'd sit and stare
across the foggy moor, dream
of children she would never rear.
At night, she'd hook a kettle
on the hob that didn't warm
and latch the door against the wind.
A wild dog adopted her.
She'd pluck the burrs from its coat
and feed it off her plate.
She never raised her voice
to complain, yet the poor man knew
that howling from the uplands
would rouse in her
desires he could not fulfill.
The day she disappeared
she left his supper on the table,
a brackish stew
of thistledown and thorns.
(Previously published in US1 Worksheets.)
Nancy Scott's first book of poetry, Down to the Quick (Plain
View Press) was published in 2007. She is the current managing
editor of US1 Worksheets, the journal of the US1 Poets'
Cooperative in Central New Jersey. She began writing poetry
about ten years ago to record the myriad of stories she had
heard while advocating for homeless families, the mentally ill
and foster and adoptive children. Visit her website: