Wendy Mnookin: "After Her Husband Dies"




She folds her hands on the table.

She won’t take a drink.

Too easy to finish the bottle,

and another,

and soon it won’t be a problem anymore.

Depending on what you think it is.


I really want a drink.


Have you noticed, she says,

her fingers twining and releasing,

there’s always someone who uses the word moment?

Not me.


Though as soon as I say this, I think of lizards,

those delicate orange ones, completely still

when I come across them on the trail,

as if frozen, or suspended,

and then, in the next moment,

faster than seems

possible, disappeared.



Wendy Mnookin teaches poetry at Emerson College and at Grub Street, a non-profit writing program in Boston. She received a fellowship from the NEA and a book prize from the New England Poetry Club. Her most recent book is The Moon Makes Its Own Plea, published by BOA Editions.