A Social Contract

Renee Richichi
The body politic is composed of 
those who value communal need over

the politician’s wife,
a delicate feline, tip-toes
on the heels

of contractual companionship
and compulsory agreeability. 

no woman wants to be
a plain enough Jane,
caught serving brandy and port

to fine laws and even finer men,
forfeiting the whims of a 
contemporary Elizabeth.

a politician's wife is a mythical beast,
settled between the pressure cooker of 
age and patriarchal distaste

and when they gather to send
off their statesmen to engage 
in intellectual defeat,

light permeates their Regency gowns,
reflecting bitter moods off neighboring
parasols and shining cufflinks.

I envy them.