A poem for the miserably married

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The first course I’m preparing for Udemy (short, online, largely video) is Write Over Divorce. It’s been great fun so far, planning the curriculum and making slideshows and videos.

One video is about how I have used writing to reduce the trauma of divorce — and it includes an alarming piece of doggerel, written when my marriage was beyond repair.

To me, the poem is a reminder that terrible situations can be changed, and people can flourish after divorce. Case in point: my ex and I have each been as happy as Larry for the last three decades, and we are friends.

The original poem is long lost, so this one is a half-accurate reconstruction from memory. I think it was published in Broadsheet, a splendid feminist magazine of the 1970s, but I never included it in any book. However, at the time it was widely circulated by women (and some men) in similar situations and became a popular fridge poem, stuck to many a refrigerator door with a magnet.

Feel free to share it with somebody who needs it now!

I’m tired

I’m tired of acting dutiful and tame
I’m tired of always taking all the blame
I’m tired of using someone else’s name
I’m tired of blowing on this dying flame
I only said I’d marry you
I never said I’d carry you
And I’m tired.

I’m tired of being nothing but a nurse
Your silence is as bitter as a curse
And every day it gets a little worse
There’s nothing left but money in the purse
I only said I’d marry you
I never said I’d carry you
And I’m tired.

I’m tired of sifting truth from all the lies
of trying to be helpful and be wise
and seeing in the glass my empty eyes
and every day a little loving dies
I only said I’d marry you
I never said I’d carry you
and I’m tired.

 

– – – – –

Rachel McAlpine, 1977?

PS You can read other poems by me on Poems in the wild