The Rector’s Wife

She was wont to laugh, then not at all.
She stood at the door dripping rain,
He waved her in, he was on a call —
a parishioner ringing to complain.
She was wont to laugh, then not at all.

“They think you are of ill repute
and lacking in propriety
that you would wear your garden boots
when you step outside the rectory.
They think you are of ill repute.”

They had a laugh, then shrugged it off,
She dried her hair and set the plates
For tea. The clock chimed in at four o’clock.
He built a fire, and while they ate
They had a laugh, then shrugged it off.

It hung above her all the night,
Truth falls as fast as one can bear;
She saw it now in a different light,
How mirth cloaked what was really there.
It hung above her all the night.

They took to bed, turned back to back,
Each sequestered in their thoughts—
His of sermons, tithes, and tracts,
Hers of what her life was not.
They took to bed, turned back to back.

Morning dawned with a dreary pall.
She rose with a change of heart.
It was rather funny after all —
The sting now fading to a smart
Though morning dawned with a dreary pall.



Lisa McCabe

Lisa McCabe reads and writes in Lahave, Nova Scotia, Canada. She studied film at York University and English Literature at The University of North Carolina, Greensboro. She has published poems in The Sewanee Review, Better Than Starbucks, Limestone Review, Black Bough, and various online and print journals. Although she no longer lives in Worcester, Massachusetts, she considers All Saints Episcopal Church, her home congregation.


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