Mary and the Commandments
Sometimes there are ten. Sometimes more. They play for an audience of one. Mary and her cursive list of what not to do: Do not wear black lace with extra holes. Do not be the one to lift your silk slip over your head. Raise your hands at the elbow, never the wrist. Keep your interior pink and pleasing: the kitchen counter, the kitchen scissors, the rose-handled wedding gift knives. Never give a gift that is not wrapped--legs around neck, ribbon around box, Champagne in silver foil. When removing your heart for a lover, remember it is not a hat. Your organ should not be worn at the dinner table, is not a common bridal accessory, will not prevent sunburn. Keep the faith, keep a clean house, keep clean underwear in your hip pocket. Commandments as back-up singers, as anti-inflammatories. When following rules, think map. Rules are not maps, but you may still clasp your hands, fall to your knees.
Previously published in Emerge Literary Journal.
Jill Crammond is a poet/single mom/artist, funding her passion for poetry and feeding her children by teaching art and preschool at an independent school in upstate NY. She has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and featured in such local community events as Bookmarks: The Memoir Project (Arts Center of the Capital Region), and Write Here: A Mini Conference for Writers (HVWG & Arts Center of the Capital Region). Her poetry has been published in a variety of anthologies and journals, including Fire on Her Tongue (Two Sylvia’s Press), B (Kind of a Hurricane Press), Thirty Days: The Best of the Tupelo Press 30/30 Project’s First Year (Tupelo), Classifieds: An Anthology of Prose Poems, Crab Creek Review, and others.