When Greetings Hurt

My neighbor’s wife (NW) looks beautiful
With a kink on her apple cheeks whenever she laughs.
My wife? Hum. Don’t remind me of her…
Laughter is on ration with her.

With her up-to-the ankle flowing tresses
My NW tethers my eyes to her.
My wife, too, has tresses
But no longer than the tail of “Y”

When my NW laughs, her lips spill milky maize grains.
In the twenty years… … well,
I don’t recall
My wife having ever smiled beyond that nuptial bed.

My NW’s doe-eyes hunt and haunt me alike
While my wife’s looks put
A Pentagon or a Scotland Yard spy to shame.

My NW’s gait, her dress, her make-up, oh! What not,
Make me regret my decision twenty years old.

Then comes a greeting:
“To a very dear hubby
For twenty years of
Unadulterated love
And uninterrupted happiness.
Wish you a very happy wedding anniversary
And many more…
Your loving wife.”

Shame and guilt
Lay such an anchor on my eyelids
That I fail to lift them up
To look square into her eyes.



  1. Beautifully told story of a man coveting his neighbour’s wife, and how guilty it makes him feel! So true for some, but unfortunately not for all.

  2. The best way to deal such sensitive subject is narration in

    first person… I thought.

    I owe one of my University lecturer-friend for revising that

    part of the poem… letter from loving wife… instead of brother-

    in-law as I originally written. That set the tone for the finish.

    Thanks again.

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