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Never a housewife weary and embattled
Looked up with more heartfelt dismay to hear
Her lord’s rebuke. Her eyes are startled blear,
And every straining nerve of her is rattled:
She’d fought and butchered cows and bucking goats,
And hammered out the gristle-knotted flesh
(She looked for burns and bruises and the rest),
But words so hard from his mouth catch her throat.
And yet she girds her loins for this one thing,
To sit beside her sister at his feet,
While dishes burn and stewpots, seething, spill.
And later, when the serpent made a spring
At her, she stood her ground, by one thing stilled,
Lassoed it fast, and watched its eyes go sweet.

—Adam Cooper