Her Story by Madeline Vardell

Wild Flower by Jon & David Swartz
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Her Story

for Daughters

He would come every night

in the year the vacuum was invented

with questions. Doe-eyed. Entrapping

across smoky exhaust. For him, I danced,

poured his wine. His dinner I fixed.

This is the way, of course,

with men.

for Granddaughters

He would come every night
as the dark crushed, like velvet,
in the year the vacuum was invented.
About bags and filters, I plied him
with questions, doe-eyed, entrapping.
I played a silk skein swept
across smoky exhaust. For him I danced,
a leggy spider in ebony nylons,
poured his wine. His dinner I fixed
in the dark, whispering, bend me
this is the way. Of course,
I was in my thirties then; I’d lived
with men.

Madeline Vardell

Madeline Vardell is an MFA candiate at New Mexico State University. She is the winner of the 2013 Kay Murphy Prize in Poetry, selected by Lara Glenum. Her work has recently appeared in Bayou Magazine, Rhino, [PANK], and Whiskey Island. She lives in Mesilla, New Mexico.