Treasure Island

Godfrey Rust

(London, England)

Choosing A Wife

Choosing a wife is not exactly like choosing
a dog. Look out, naturally,
for bright eyes and well-groomed hair,

but avoid yapping and a wet
nose. Treasure, though,
absolute loyalty and the fetching of slippers

after another day’s difficulties; and
choosing a wife is not exactly like choosing
a car. A sporty model, nought to sixty

in a few seconds and responsive
to skilful handling is of course rewarding,
but understand what you may have to pay

in running costs, quite apart from
the constant risk of theft—don’t miss
the point, that what matters is

getting from here to there, and the journey
may be long and unpredictable; and then remark
that choosing a wife is not exactly like choosing

a house. Comfort is desirable, and room
for growth and improvement
but do not be fooled by the agent’s

carefully-angled photographs;
decide instead how it will look
on a wet November evening

with the kitchen demanding a coat of paint
and the kids avoiding their homework,
and consider the work on your part

needed to make it into
the home you always hope for;
only then will you realise

choosing a wife was much more like
being chosen, and when you weigh up
what’s on offer from that perspective

you will be glad that sometimes she lets love
get in the way of her otherwise
unerringly good judgment.

Submitted: Wednesday, April 12, 2006
Edited: Friday, January 06, 2012

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Comments about this poem (Choosing A Wife by Godfrey Rust )

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  • Philippa Lane (3/8/2012 4:24:00 PM)

    I had written a long letter to you discussing your interesting poem, but now it's vanished before my eyes...I have no idea why! It took me over half an hour to type it with its thoughts in response to what I found a witty poem. But remember, it can easily be reversed to a woman choosing a man. Complicated subject. (Report) Reply

  • Jeline Loh Jen-Li (2/2/2012 4:21:00 AM)

    As I walked through the valley
    The valley of life or the other
    Dark and winded is the other alley
    I couldn’t foretell if I even bother

    The journey is such a pang
    I doubt there is enjoyment
    The process is far too long
    If it will only bring torment

    For some it is to endure
    For others it is to fulfill
    For me I am rather aware
    That I would rather enthrall

    In either alley let us will
    In either valley let us triumph (Report) Reply

  • Subroto Chatterjee (4/19/2009 3:54:00 AM)

    Imaginatively well domesticated (if not yet married) , and in trouble (if married) . I'm sure the real or imaginative missus of yours smacked you (if you know what I mean) when she read this piece of yours!

    Subroto (Report) Reply

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