National Poetry Month, Day 27: “The Accused Terrorist’s Wife” by Shara Lessley


The Accused Terrorist’s Wife

The house foreclosed, she’s gone
to his father’s home, carting
her things, a pair of his shoes, their only

daughter, sons. Water springs
from the outdoor pump, a parasite
hidden in each clear drop (however

she washes her face; it can’t come clean
enough). Cross-examined, the dailies
claim, he won’t shut up; the sky’s

too bright for such news. His mother
chooses a room; draws its curtains
and blinds, begins her thousand-

hour prayer. Whatever happens, happens
to their children. Meeting the first time
beneath this very tree did they agree

they’d known each other as many
years as leaves? She was fourteen —
Abida’s age. Their youngest’s latest

game is dizzying himself by spinning
rings, then collapsing half-sick
in defeat. The world unreels

another day. The almonds’ seed-
coats are too sweet. Newsmen stalk
the cordoned lane — afternoons

behind the well, she beats
a bedroom rug till none can tell
it’s her cries that fill the streets.

Shara Lessley

Shara Lessley is an American poet who currently lives in Amman, Jordan.

Original poetry published by The Rumpus. More from this author →