wordsout by godfrey rust
Welcome To The Real World  < 35 of 59 >

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 hoped 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.

The poem is ironic. Please don't write in.

Godfrey Rust 1999, godfrey@wordsout.co.uk. See here for permissions.