Poems from Jacqueline Jules

Second Story Bedroom

My mother was a second child,

the daughter born

five years after the favored son.

She spent weekends confined to

a second story bedroom, punished

for poor grades, instructed to dwell

on why Grandmother could not

love her: Not smart. Not pretty.

Not talented in any way.

She didn’t even have a nice smile,

not with that crooked incisor

on the left side beneath the gray eye

which always drooped just a little.

When my mother married at age 35,

Grandmother was livid, certain that refugee

from Lódź only lusted for a Green Card.

Yet my mother’s rebellious wedding did not unchain

her tight smile, always hiding that crooked incisor.

She remained the disappointing daughter,

brooding in a second story bedroom.

And some days, I sit with her, my left eye

drooping beneath Grandmother’s harsh appraisal.

Questioning Eve

How did Eve adjust

after leaving Eden?

Did she absorb

the pain of childbirth

as a reasonable price

for sweet bliss

suckling her breast?

Or did she spend

the rest of her days

missing the limits of Eden

where as long as she didn’t eat

from the Tree of Knowledge,

she would not be touched

by hunger of any kind?

About Jacqueline Jules

Jacqueline Jules is the author of three chapbooks, Field Trip to the Museum, (Finishing Line Press), Stronger Than Cleopatra (ELJ Publications), and Itzhak Perlman’s Broken String, winner of the 2016 Helen Kay Chapbook Prize from Evening Street Press. Her work has appeared in over 100 publications including The Literary Nest, Sow’s Ear Poetry Review, Glass, Beltway Poetry, Innisfree Poetry Journal, Gargoyle, and Connecticut River Review. She is also the author of forty books for young readers. Visit her online at www.jacquelinejules.com


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