By BJ Ward b. 1967 BJ Ward
Such conundrums
of English. I blame
my ex-wife. She
rearranged my
dictionary, or re-
taught an old story:
in this book,
if you look
for alimony,
it follows
acrimony (nothing
between). However,
contrition still
borders contrivance
(if it can be seen).
Untruth in her
troth sallowed
the language, sullied
a certain conjugation:
how she lied
as she lay with me.
Apparently her
monogamy was too
close to monotony.

Alas, after parting
with that particular
lass, I remain
a student
examining all
our words’
how anniversary
now precedes

BJ Ward, “Cuckoldom,” from Poetry (September 2006). Copyright © 2006 by BJ Ward.

Source: Poetry (September 2006).


This poem originally appeared in the September 2006 issue of Poetry magazine

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September 2006
 BJ  Ward


Poet BJ Ward grew up in New Jersey. He earned a BA at Richard Stockton College of New Jersey and an MA at Syracuse University. He is the author of several collections of poetry, including Jackleg Opera: Collected Poems 1990-2013Gravedigger’s Birthday (2002), a Paterson Poetry Prize finalist; 17 Love Poems With No Despair (1997); and Landing in New Jersey with Soft Hands (1994).

His poems have been featured on Garrison Keillor’s . . .

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