I was teaching but I went to the movie
Mamma Mia, ten times, just to get him off my mind.
My mind was on the porch where he said, you will be back
you are mine. But I didn’t want to be owned,
not like his aunt in El Paso who said
if she could do it over, she wouldn’t.
Or his friend in Matagalpa, she will devote
her life to service, he said, describing her love
for a married man. This was before
that wretched call that wretched rain when
he confessed he got a teen girl pregnant,
said we can still stay friends.
Now, he looks matured, the wife the boy
the girl the reading glasses the tiled floor.
He told me I need to appreciate Nicaragua’s
beauty, and I’m trying. You don’t know your place, he said.
He wanted a woman groomed for the kitchen
and the bedroom. I wanted room to grow and to roam.
Laura Sweeney facilitates Writers for Life in central Iowa. She represented the Iowa Arts Council at the First International Teaching Artist’s Conference in Oslo, Norway. She is the associate editor for Eastern Iowa Review.