Mary Jo Balistreri
They crashed with the stock market on a Friday-failed bank.
Credited with a trunk of paper promises,
he forfeited himself. After a nervous breakdown,
relief was a jug of wine.
What she brought home kept the house
around them. She peddled beauty and hope
from door to door. Housewives
who struggled opened themselves to her.
These women had their ways—envelopes marked
rent, grocer, utilities, and always one unmarked.
What harm, a tinge of rouge, a new red lipstick, that soft face powder?
Her products helped them cope; their purchases
helped her stave off starvation.
Women, the dabs of color in a world turned gray.
Mary Jo has two books of poetry by Bellowing Ark Press, and a chapbook by Tiger's Eye Press, plus a book in their Infinities Series, (a mini, mini chapbook.) She chose haiku. She enjoys reading, gardening, and family. Mary Jo is a founder of Grace River Poets, an outreach for schools, churches, and women's shelters. Please visit her at maryjobalistreripoet.com. Her poem "1929" was written in honor of her grandmother and all the women who hung on during the Depression and kept their families and much of the country together.