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2 October 2015

Two poems by Kathryn Maris

“The adulteress” and “The H Man”.

By Kathryn Maris

The adulteress

was her joke name     for herself though
unfashionable &      (except in the literal
sense) incorrect.      She had to stop
attending dinner     parties as someone
would inevitably     say something
like, “I didn’t know      which husband to
expect tonight!” or      “Your husband” this/
“Your husband” that      with her partner
sitting right there.      She did not view herself
as a joke & yet this     joke word “adulteress”
was in her head so     she said to her daughter
who was learning      to sew, “Can you make
a big red A & sew     it on my black dress?”
Her daughter said,     “Which black dress?”
& the woman said,     “Every black dress.”

The H Man

His superpower was being the subject of ever-taller tales
about his prowess at hurling, a sport with prehistoric Gaelic
origins where players use hurleys (sticks) on a sliotar (ball),
aiming it over the crossbar of the goalpost for 1 point,
or under the crossbar of the goalpost into the net for 3.
Considered to be “the fastest player ever” in a sport known
to be “the world’s fastest field sport,” the H Man once broke
the nose of an opponent with his force plus his velocity
(though some say he broke his ribs or legs). He did not
“go professional” because there is no professional hurling,
but he did become a poet because that position does exist.

Kathryn Maris’s most recent poetry collection is God Loves You (Seren). Originally from New York, she now lives in London.

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This article appears in the 30 Sep 2015 issue of the New Statesman, The Tory tide