A new poem by Denis Robillard

The Housewives of Verdun

The housewives of Verdun
of faceless blue-collar men all seem to hang out
their weekly wash on the same day.
Here and there you see them,
imprisoned by their grimy children gnawing at their ankles.
Monotone row of houses.
Like in a good Tremblay play,
grocery bound or bogged down by domestic chores
a plump woman in her thirties with dirty blond
bed-wrecked hair yawns away something
and shakes dirt specks from her mop
atop her balcony. She is wearing
a surreal-looking terry cloth housecoat,
a floral fabric hangover from the 1970s.
A starchy old man in his 60s (shades of Patrice Desbiens)
clad in a dirty t-shirt
sits on his balcony below the first one.
He steals awkwardly delicious glances
at some tired beat-up housewife
in her worn-out housecoat.
She leans voyeuristically over her balcony
this sunny 9am, sans petites culottes or brassiere.
Montreal traffic rushes by lax and laissez-faire.
Stray dogs bark obstreperously. The occasional sparrow
pecks over some ripe brown August apples
on the corner of Verdun and 3ieme Avenue, where I write
as the metropolitan tableau of this morning unfolds.