In A Valediction Forbidding Mourning,
John Donne uses a compass
to represent his love for his wife.
She might have wished for a different metaphor,
like maybe a thick, locked door,
or even a different life.
Twelve children in sixteen years did her in
just as surely as a gun or club or knife.
So that’s what happened to the wife.
© Julianne Carlile