tea cup ready sip sip,
chin-up in spite of slights — an enemy of the right.
The rich and powerful are not your friends, being left.
You husband-speak, always on guard.
A constituent once chided hubbie for wearing jeans
to Save On Foods, “unseemly for a politician.”
You promise crumbs for the poor and disenfranchised,
“Stay on the message, please.”
A swing riding’s worse in a campaign for the vote could go right,
left or even green— an unlikely dream.
You sway from poll to poll, depending on the issue.
In your letters to the editor, there’s a note to i.d. you
as the woman wed to the politician.
It’s only in the vast unknown of your marriage bed that
your sails unfurl in a world of your own making.
You go to balls wearing an outdated dress from Sally Ann.
Once you wore your wedding gown to a black and white affair,
a fundraiser for The Hospital Foundation, where you
and that other leftie were seated at the farthest table
near the back, “So sorry we forgot to introduce you.”
The movers and shakers, mostly realtors,
resent your bleeding heart, small ‘l-liberal’ sensibilities,
so-called radical stance on the ALR,
“Save it for chrisssakes.”
Never mind, they are not your crowd.
Yours carry signs and petitions,
march for peace,
rally against corporate takeovers.
Even after your husband retires
you’re still wife
pressed into a box of sugar and simp,
loose tea and gloved hands
Annette LeBox is an award-winning Canadian poet, novelist and children’s writer with seven published books. Her poetry has been widely published in literary journals such as Event, Poetry Canada, Prairie Fire, Matrix and the Southern Review. Two of her children’s books have won the British Columbia Book Prize. She holds an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of British Columbia. LeBox is an environmental activist, feminist, and wife of a former politician.