Little Wife

By Marianne Boruch b. 1950 Marianne Boruch

At the Oriental Institute, Chicago

They redid King Tut splendid,
once stone-huge as this
yet his wife’s feet
tiny, the only thing of her now
low, next to him. A few toes, some of the rest,
a bit of ankle, that’s it
in the shade of her husband’s looming, massive
looking straight ahead into the future
where we live and can’t
eye-to-eye, where to stare at him
is to suffer warbler neck, head back and up
à la the high just-leafing-out trees as bright bits
wing their blink
and hide. Little wife,
such small feet, the thought
dwarfs the king
as ache, as what is
ever left of us
and oh, I like her better.

Source: Poetry (November 2011).


This poem originally appeared in the November 2011 issue of Poetry magazine

November 2011
 Marianne  Boruch


Poet and essayist Marianne Boruch grew up in Chicago. She is the author of numerous collections of poetry, including, most recently, Eventually One Dreams the Real Thing (2016); Cadaver, Speak (2014); The Book of Hours (2011), which won the Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award; Grace, Fallen from (2008); and Poems: New & Selected (2004). Her memoir, The Glimpse Traveler (2011), concerns a hitchhiking trip she took in 1971. In the Blue . . .

Continue reading this biography

Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Living, Time & Brevity, Arts & Sciences, Painting & Sculpture

POET’S REGION U.S., Midwestern

Poetic Terms Ekphrasis, Free Verse

Report a problem with this poem

Your results will be limited to content that appeared in Poetry magazine.

Search Every Issue of Poetry

Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

This poem has learning resources.

This poem is good for children.

This poem has related video.

This poem has related audio.