TWI Poetry : Blue Wife Puts Too Much Stock in a Good Day

Two poems by Hayley Mitchell Haugen

Blue Wife Adopts Puppies

and walks them to feel the weight of her own self 
lifting; in the morning, after the rain, the droplets 
echo leaf to leaf in her forest-ringed suburbia;

the pups investigate deer droppings, parade 
the street triumphantly gumming tree limbs, 
two drooling mouths to one end each, wobbling 

shoulder to shoulder, their big heads and little paws 
performing a balancing act of pure wonder
for an audience of one. At night, she counts 

the insomniacs, their TVs glowing long past sunset, 
the bats zipping overhead, the puppies curious to know 
all cats and leaf crinkles; they scuffle over earthworms 

and crabapples, reminding her – no matter what – to see 
the littlest details of each long day: velvet ears, 
black rubber noses, exuberant, tail-thumping love.

Blue Wife Puts Too Much Stock in a Good Day

when she welcomes that tinge of happiness 
that enfolds her when working – a cool breeze 
along her edges, lifting her mood in small measures,
like the Ecuadorian butterfly tapping its way 
across lavender at the conservatory show.
Suddenly clear-headed and light and just happy
despite the gray day, the rain, she texts her friends, 
her mother, swears she’s eaten her way back
to good health – no sweets, no white breads, 
the extra pounds starting to shed – or maybe 
the doTerra oils diffusing in her workspace 
with Endurance and Hope, like it’s always been 
as easy as just plugging in and misting two years 
of dark humors away. But the next day, 
the very damned next day, where is that feeling – gone 
as quickly as it descended. The dogs too needy, 
the kids too loud, the afternoon nap like a Siren call, 
and then, those two hours wasted, the headache worse, 
the mind scattered, unfocused, as though taken by surprise, 
like when that yellow butterfly snapped closed its wings 
and revealed a shock of blue.

Hayley Mitchell Haugen holds a Ph.D. in 20th Century American Literature from Ohio University and an MFA in poetry from the University of Washington. She is currently Professor of English at Ohio University Southern, where she teaches courses in composition, American literature, and creative writing. Her chapbook What the Grimm Girl Looks Forward To appears from Finishing Line Press (2016), and poems have appeared, or are forthcoming, in Rattle, Slant, Spillway, Chiron Review, Verse Virtual and many other journals. Light & Shadow, Shadow & Light from Main Street Rag Publishing Company (2018) is her first full-length collection. She edits Sheila-Na-Gig online: and Sheila-Na-Gig Editions.

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