I wanted to be one of those girlswho always has a win to report,but the truth is, I’m more gifted at envy.And anyway haven’t you grown tiredof my helpfulness by now,the sweeping sameness of it,a halo looking for a hook?When I came here I was convincedeveryone hated me.Now I know. It’s mewho harbors the hate,singular trespass in an oyster’s soft innards.Every petty fury accrues to mewhile people keep assumingmy meekness has no sequelae.Do I dissipateinto the milk of my extremeforbearance? Do I luminesce with ire?I heard Elizabeth Regina ensured every pearlon the Spanish Main made its wayback to her fingers, her neck;Oh Gloriana! no shame in her hunger!I have made myself small, small. And I was toldthere would be prizes.Now I am ravenousfrom my long abnegation,open-mouthed as the dragon sea.
Pearls were often referred to in the 16th century as both “margaritas” and “seeds.”
Copyright © 2021 by Jeanne Obbard
All rights reserved.
Reproduced by Poetry Daily with permission.
Jeanne Obbard lives in the Philadelphia area and works in clinical trial management. A Leeway Seedling Award recipient (2001), her poetry has recently appeared in The Moth, Vinyl, The Briar Cliff Review, IthacaLit, and Barrow Street, and has been nominated for Best of the Net and Pushcart awards. She is a poetry reader and pop culture essayist for Drunk Monkeys.
Copper Nickel—the national literary journal housed at the University of Colorado Denver—was founded by poet Jake Adam York in 2002. When York died in 2012, the journal went on hiatus until its re-launch in 2014.
Work published in Copper Nickel has appeared in the Best American Poetry, Best American Short Stories, and Pushcart Prize anthologies, and contributors to Copper Nickel have received numerous honors for their work.