Poems By The World’s Worst Wife

Hayden Carruth, author of Scrambled Eggs and Whiskey,  says Chase Twitchell’s poetry is “splendid and astonishing.” Here are a couple of her poems:


Nothing has a name it can’t
slip out of. The waterfall is solid ice
by late November; the white pines
vanish under snow that’s
blue in the morning, pink in the dusk.

Here’s a little bouquet — ice
and evergreen and sun, three moments
arranged for human looking,
though it’s only the husks of their names
that I’ve gathered and paralyzed.

Here’s one from her latest book, Dog Language:


The meanest thing my father ever said,
he said to my cousin, who told me:
She’ll make the world’s worst wife.
Thank you, cousin, for tearing away
one of my veils.

When Mom came to see us
I fell from the tree house, and had to lug
a pail of stones around all summer
because the elbow healed slightly bent.
That straightened the arm.

Oh, when does childhood end?
In the globe of the night sky
the inner stars are falling.
I leave him in a room like a baby’s
but without toys.

This poem has a double irony for me because my dad just passed away and when he was 18 he ran over himself with a truck (he was fixing it and propped it up, etc. etc.) and it crushed his elbow and they told him he would lose mobility in his arm…

And he carried around a briefcase full of bricks and squeezed a rubber ball and went on to be captain of the hockey team and even played semi-pro hockey in Madison Square Garden.

Chase Twitchell, as it turns out, is happily married to the world’s worst husband, who just ascended Mt. Kilimanjaro at the age of 70.