Black & Kinky Amongst Brown Waves

poem of the week: how to be a second wife
November 3, 2013, 10:48 pm
Filed under: love, relationships, women

there is so much about this topic that I don’t understand as a woman who grew up in the west, as a product of a christian/ anglican/ episcopalian household, and as a person who has limited exposure to and experience with alternate relationship structures. There are many people defining and redefining how their love will work for them, but there are also a lot of people living lies and breaking hearts, including their own.  despite all that, I wanted to poetically explore the topic of polygamy and what it might mean to the subject of my poem…


how to be a second wife
© 2013 by margaux delotte-bennett

be content with what is given
grateful for whatever more
might be shown
snugly wrap your heart in patience
each night

know your place
in the order of priorities
and your station in life
understand that which is your lot
and your due
there is a lot of understanding
that will be expected of you

resist the urge to be ‘right’
fail horribly at fighting
and always do what you ‘should’
ensuring that you are in constant alignment
with expectations imposed and
definitions that may not be
your own

learn to cry
but only on the inside

regardless of culture, custom or caste
believe that everyone ‘plays second…’ at some point
to career
to religion
to children and washing clothes
to lost loves
whether they be past
present or proposed

forget that for some
being decidedly second is worse because
there is always a first
which means no room
to shift what is fixed

learn new relationship math
where the binary is broken
and 1+1 adds up to 3 or more
while trying to protect your relationship
from devolving to
simply keeping score

learn to smile
so that it can be seen
and believed


2 Comments so far
Leave a comment

I think I am similar to you in my limited understanding of and experience with polygamy. The western view is that ideally, the man would be content with and loyal to only one woman, as the woman is loyal to only one man. If the man cheats, we end the relationship, or we keep the relationship and continue to experience lie and deceit, or work on repair. However, I have opened my mind to think of polygamy in this way: Maybe for some, if the man is going to ‘need’ more than one woman in his life, it is better to let it be out in the open than be behind closed doors. Is it better to know where you stand? or to live a lie?

Comment by publichealthterp

Thanks for commenting! I think it is always better to know where one stands from the beginning of a relationship, but I also think that it should not only be men who are allowed to be open about their desires. Anyone living a lie will be unhappy. I found this blog while collecting some background from the piece and it is really interesting:
There are as many ways to love as there are people with which to share that love!


Comment by kinkywaves

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