The idea has come niggling that
a thought I should be giggling at
might actually have merit
That you and I should suck it up
and try not now to fuck it up
and see if we can wear it
It seems it’s been not all that great
since what was ‘us’ succumbed to fate
but, Lordy, could I bear it?
You say that if I marry you,
yet promise not to harry you
on women when you share it,
perfection would be happening
we both could have our little fling
but that would be the rare bit
If giving all that in and out
while putting yourself all about
means I cannot care, it
seems it may not be so wise
to do this drastic compromise
for what can I inherit?
Oh, yes, I get to be the Queen
but what that gives me can’t be seen.
With what shall I compare it?
Two artists living as they will
by different rules, but yet there’s still
the worry: Can I bear it?
The swing, the strong rhythm is just one of the things attracting me to this poem by Sandra Hanks. Another quality attracting me to this poem is Hank’s skill at being both light and serious at the same moment.
The short lines, simple rhymes, and light meter all contribute to a dancing feeling. Meanwhile, the poem is completely serious in covering its territory — the cost/benefit of a proposed open relationship or marriage. Did Hanks have the help of a ballerina in her word choice and the help of an accountant in laying out the ideas to be expressed?
All I really know is a lesser poet than Hanks would most likely treat her partner’s proposal to open up their relationship in a more conventional way. That is, they would most likely write a heavy, judgmental, moralizing work. That’s pretty standard when you are speaking about something that offends you.
The name of this poem is Grim … and bear it. I might have, for the above reasons, passed on using the word “grim” in the title, but then I didn’t write the poem, so I don’t get to name it.
At any rate, those are my thoughts about it. What are yours?