Poem: "Evangeline" by Pamela Harrison
Fridays I come home limp
as a fish skin—steamed by working late,
shirt plastered to my back and road dirt
creased between my toes and teeth--
to find our house transformed.
Evangeline has mopped up bugs
from under beds, routed caravans
of ants shouldering the carcasses
of last night’s moths like sherpas
making basecamp in our walls.
She’s washed our sheets and blued them,
wrung towels and hung them on the line,
folded clothes like gifts into our drawers.
She leaves us supper on the stove:
fried fish and rice finer than I can fix.
We chat about her kids, all nine,
and husband gone, now “born again”
and “preaching” on some island up the line.
She labors here alone, living her faith
and consoling mine in her spare time.
I’ve got one kid, a husband I can count on,
and am fairly pickled by the little work I do.
Though I love the whiskers on her chin,
the black eyes radiant in her coal black skin,
she needs my money more.
From Glory Bush and Green Banana (Turning Point, 2017)
Pamela Harrison reads Evangeline