A Story Wet as Tears – Marge Piercy

Remember the princess who kissed the frog
so he became a prince? At first they danced
all weekend, toasted each other in the morning
with coffee, with champagne at night
and always with kisses. Perhaps it was
in bed after the first year had ground
around she noticed he had become cold
with her. She had to sleep
with heating pad and down comforter.
His manner grew increasingly chilly
and damp when she entered a room.
He spent his time in water sports,
hydroponics, working on his insect
Then in the third year
when she said to him one day, my dearest,
are you taking your vitamins daily,
you look quite green, he leaped
away from her.
Finally on their
fifth anniversary she confronted him.
“My precious, don’t you love me any
more?” He replied, “Rivet. Rivet.”
Though courtship turns frogs into princes,
marriage turns them quietly back.

Princes turning back into frogs

*It doesn’t take a massive poetry geek to be able to see that this poem is a look into the whole “happily ever after” which fairy tales promise us.  Perhaps the only thing lacking in the royals’ lives above is some open honest communication.  Perhaps this is in fact all that marriage can provide, a general dissatisfaction and an uravelling of the lies we’ve woven in order to bag that great catch.

I didn’t post this poem to have a go at guys, its a problem us girls also create.  When “courting” you’ll never catch us without makeup, we’ll make sure we’re perfectly shaped, we’ll never swear and we’ll always feel like having sex.  But what happens when we have you?  And isn’t a diamond encrusted (yours will of course lack the diamonds) handcuff the ultimate declaration that quite frankly we have you?  And then what?  You’re going nowhere unless you want to deal with an expensive divorce.  And is a general dissatisfaction really reason enough to leave?  For me it was but it’s not that way for everyone.

Marriage is meant to be forever but if the courting is built on lies then how can it be a real forever?  I guess the only two options available are don’t get married or hope to whatever you hope to, that your partner is truthful about who they really are.


Posted on June 21, 2011, in No and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. I’m no expert on marraige that’s for sure, as you know, but my experience wasn’t anything like what you have described, our marraige was perfect, not built on lies but instead truthful and we both ‘looked’ after ourselves so we didn’t even take each other for granted and let things ‘slip’.

    Yes our daughters put extra strain on our marraige.. can’t get away from that one, but in our case we just grew apart from each other. I still love my ex-wife tremendously and there isn’t anything i wouldn’t do for her but the ‘spark’ between us just isn’t there anymore.

    We became best friends, and will stay best friends… maybe that is the best part of our divorce, it will allow us to carry on being best friends without the pressure of having to fake being lovers!
    If that sounds harsh, it is, you can’t imagine how many couples we have spoken to that are in our exact if not worse situation, and they all say the same thing, ‘we are proud of you for having the guts to call it quits’.

    But… it can be done, i’ve seen couples that have a wonderful marraige and the spark has never faded, which gives my ex and I a ray of hope, hope that we will one day find someone where the flame will never end.

    my 2c

    • Thanks for your comment Mike. What you have done could have been easy in any way, ending something so comfortable is not easy and not comfortable. Crying others and selves also do not make things any easier. It does take guts to admit that things are not working and then to do something to fix it or change it. You are lucky that you and your ex-wife are still such good friends and that you could both be honest with one another.

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