April is National Poetry Month, and to mark the occasion we'll be sharing some of our favourite poems from collections we've published over the years. Today's poem is "Reading Sharon Olds in the Tub" by Joelle Barron from the collection Ritual Lights.
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"Reading Sharon Olds in the Tub"
by Joelle Barron
Pick the golden Pulitzer Prize sticker
from the cover of Stag’s Leap, slap it
on a bottle of conditioner. My jaw’s insectile
clicking echoes off the mouldy tile. When
she finds the mistress’s picture in her husband’s
trouser pocket, I think of shaking dirty work
jeans, hydromorph shells skittering under
the dryer. Sharon’s lack of bitterness freaks
me out; mine’s an oily glaze on the surface
of the water. My husband cheated on me
with heroin, but I was never really honest,
and I’m lovingly green at Sharon’s
high ground. I stroke the stag’s
furred belly, moored by a person who will
never know me; this is poetry. Stick
my ears under, crack the spine, start again.