Commentary of "The Sorrowful Woman"

"Look, Mommy is sleeping," said the boy. "She's tired from doing all our things again." He dawdled in a stream of the last sun for that day and watched his father roll tenderly back her eyelids, lay his ear softly to her breast, test the delicate bones of her wrist. The father put down his face into her fresh-washed hair.

"Can we eat the turkey for supper?" the boy asked.


Once upon a time, what if I had chosen not to die?

To bare witness to the lingering cooked-turkey aroma I prepared for the ungrateful, drooling child

The last forced gush of air that was inhaled through my wavering grin tasted

Bittersweet, but, paired so pleasantly with fresh-washed hair

I loved my fresh-washed hair

I loved the four walls of my white room

I loved my husband

How kind of him to never forget to prepare my sleeping draught

My soul stained with that prevailing auburn hue

But, what if I continued to salivate for my draught?

My boy would age as nature intends

His baby spit lips being content with a yearly dose of maternal affection when I decide to emerge out of my beckoning room

Why could I not provide the sincere comfort to my child like my cradling room provided for me?

I do not believe that I killed myself

This was not a moment when I decided that this was it, as I have been conditioning myself and auditioning for the grand finale for some time

Cooking, cleaning, living, pretending

I had died when I looked into the gray eyes of my child

And once more, my being stutter-stepped into darkness when my husband's relentless receptiveness urged me to stay in seclusion with my cigarettes, my books, and bread

Swimming in my flannel nightgown, in the tides of maternity and wifely duties

My husband and son killed me

This may seem like an altered ending, like one I have imagined,

To have the murderers dismissively discover my pale body and beloved locks.

But, I am a hysterical woman,

And the hysterical woman, is after all, married.

#HaleySmith #hysteria