“Mama Explains Marrying Daddy” by Suzanne Rhodenbaugh

Good-lookin’, that’s why, even if skinny as a rail.
Hell’s bell’s, it wasn’t like I’d been waiting with bated breath.
I didn’t want some piddling jackass, some snot-nosed
mamma’s boy who didn’t know diddlysquat.

Hell no. I could’ve waited a coon’s age.
I didn’t want to marry just anybody – somebody
who might not be rotten to the core
but still turn out just plain sorry.

I found gallavantin’ around just dandy.
No ants in my pants to marry.

Papa said I better sashay my fanny back home.
He said I was hardly a grown woman but had flat-out
lied, plus gotten a lot bassackwards: mainly,
knocked up before tying the knot.

RhodenbaughSuzanne Rhodenbaugh is the author of poetry books The Whole Shebang (WordTech, 2010) and Lick of Sense (Helicon Nine Editions, 2001, winner of the Marianne Moore Poetry Prize) and four chapbooks, and the editor of a 19th century diary, Sarah’s Civil War (Bluebird, 2012). She was born in Florida to a Georgia family, and raised in those two states. She and her husband Tom live in St. Louis.