Tuesdays

By Kate Gale

Today is a Tuesday, one of many.
He has a girl he loves every Tuesday,
her day off. He burns
at the fine fire of her conscience,

tells her they’ll be married
someday. He has a wife,
Doreen, a freckle-faced fat thing
who harbors resentment that during her Tuesday

at her mother’s, he insists on going to the movies.
Rose petals he picks up in the neighbor’s yard
end up at Tuesday’s feet and
sprinkled through the sheets.

Of course they must make love,
since he sees her only once a week.
Doreen requires sex after seeing her mother.
He feels like an ox on Tuesday, powerful and massive.

He tells this to Tuesday
and to Doreen.
Doreen tells him he is an ox
a brute master of the air and his rightful bed.

But Tuesday, who knows oxen
are slow moving, dim witted,
and castrated at birth,
follows him home instead of playing her dulcimer,

climbs the wall, watches him mounting his wife,
leaves rose petals on his doorstep,
takes the train to cornfields, steers and heifers
watches the city disappear in rain.

Thinks briefly of how tenderly
he rose in her fingers
while the remains of their breakfast,
eggs and potatoes

cooled on the wooden table
with the tattered tablecloth.