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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
collection.
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.

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