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The Professor's Wife (Satis Shroff)
SS ( / Dharan)

The Professor's Wife (Satis Shroff)

'My husband is mad
Er spinnt
Er ist verrückt! '
Says Frau Fleckenstein, my landlady,
As she staggers down the steps,
In her blue satin negligée.

She arrests her swaying
With a hiccup
And says: ‘Entschuldigen Sie’
And throws up her misery,
Discontent, melancholy and agony.
The pent-up emotions,
Of a forty year married life.

Her husband is a high-brow,
An honourable man
A professor with a young blonde mistress.
And she has her bottles:
Red wine, white wine
Burgunder, Tokay and Ruländer
Schnaps, Whiskey,
Kirschwasser and Feuerwasser
The harder the better.

She defends herself
She offends herself
With bitterness and eagerness.
Her looks are gone
Once her asset, now a liability.
A leathery skin, and bags under the eyes
Her hair unkempt, and a pot belly.
A bad liver and a surplus of spleen,
A fairy turned a grumbler.

Tension charges the air
Pots and pans flying everywhere
Fury and frustration
Tumult and verbal terror
Rage and rancour
Of a marriage gone asunder.
And what remains is a façade,
Of a professor and his spouse
Grown grey and 'grausam.'
Faces that say: Guten Tag
When it's cloudy, stormy, hurricane.

To forgive and forget
That's human folly.
'I will bear my grudges, ' says milady.
And my landlord is indeed a lord.
A lord over his wealth, wife and wretched life
A merciless, remorseless, pitiless existence
In the winter of their lives.
Too old to divorce
And too young to die.
What remains is only the lie.

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Maya Angelou

Caged Bird

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