My husband was born
with a chicken bone in his heart.
Werenít no wishbone neither.

They let me out the mental ward,
head bandaged, hair gone.
I found him at the Triangle Tavern.

He turned on his barstool, looked
over my shoulder like searching
for the exit, spat full in my face.

My real husband ís dead, I said,
walked out backwards. Found my way
to the womenís shelter.

Social worker says I got to fight
this tumor, swallow these meds. Hair
grows back like soft threads.

Copyright 1995, Maura Alia Bramkamp

Maura Alia Bramkamp, editor of Paper Boat, has had her poetry appear in the Haight Ashbury Literary Journal, The Healing Woman, Exhibition, and other journals. She teaches poetry workshops in the Chimacum Schools, Washington. Her first chapbook, RESCULPTING, was released in September 1995 and is available at bookstores and through Pacific Pipeline.