Two Poems by Curtis Dunlap

Dear Nadine Pritchett

Don’t make promises
to our daughter
that you won’t keep.
Don’t tell her
that you’ll take her
shopping this weekend,
then interject
“provided I don’t have anything
else to do.”
You’re demeaning
your relationship
with your daughter,
giving yourself
an out,
putting her
on the back burner
of your priorities.
You’re making her feel
unworthy of your time when
you’re not worthy of her time.

You are self-absorbed,
Nadine Pritchett.
You live alone today
because you while away
hours
on Internet social groups.
You neglected
your child,
your husband,
your home.

We are happier
without you, Nadine Pritchett.
Our new home is clean.
There are no wine bottles
or cigarette butts
on the floor.
There are no lice
in our daughter’s bed.

There is a scent
of fresh baked bread
wafting through this home.
Our daughter
can have friends over
and not be ashamed
of her living conditions.

Thank you,
Nadine Pritchett
for dropping the surname
you acquired
during our wedding.

No longer
yours truly
and with as little love
as I can muster

Dewitt Smith

Don’t Analyze My Poems

Stop assuming
that every woman
I’ve written about
is a real person.
Poets have been known
to take
artistic liberties
or embellishments.

Stop thinking
that my poem entitled
good woman
is about my friend.
Stop assuming
that I’ve made love to her
or even fucked her.
There could be millions
of women who possess
the good woman’s traits.
You
could be one of them
if you’d stop analyzing
my god damn poems.

Stop complaining
that I’ve never written about you
in one of my poems.
You made it
into this one.

If you want to endear
yourself to me,
know me intimately,
then don’t read too much
into what I write.

Stop analyzing my
fucking poems.

Don’t inundate me
with barbed questions,
attempting to carve or pry deeper
into my soul.
I’ll let you in
when I think you are ready.

Wound me
and I will bleed
from my pen.

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