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Men Give More Than Promises

Text of Poem

You’d let me walk barefoot on
broken glass while you wore shoes,
you’d wring the necks of baby birds,
if the mother bird was watching,
to show how strong your muscle is,
I might have died and if I had
you’d have bought paper flowers and
thought you showed off big, you in a
new suit and straight face just long 
enough to get me stuck away. Boy, when
you said, ‘‘You got yourself in this, now
work it out,’’ I knew how much you cared.
I’d like to get you in a trap that
closed a little tighter every day
and watch you gnaw the bars, I’d take
you to that phony doc who cuts your
heart out while he springs you free,
and let you hobble down the street so
bugged with shame you hope the garbage
truck will pick you up—don’t come near
me, snowing me with them words, you don’t
love me, I’m just a doll, rag one at
that to play with. I’ll nail my door
so tight death can’t get in if you
come around again.

First Line
You'd let me walk barefoot on
Original Pub Location
Original Publication Date
Original Citation
A Single Focus. Iowa City: Prairie Press. 1967. 47.
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