A Wife is a Hope Chest

A wife is a hope chest in which you keep
the things you will need for a good life.
1: a kettle. Tie the cord to her wrist, she should
never be out of its reach. 2: a snapshot of the woman
you wish you had married. Push it through her
eyes, put it in her head. 3: a pen knife. Good
for cutting bread, package strings, the ring
from her finger. 4: coins. They will make sounds
so you know when she’s coming. 5: silence.
Do not read the letters she writes you, do not
speak even if she pleads. 6: cotton wool. To stop
the flow. Because she will bleed. 7: a book.
One heavy hardback you never intend to read.
8: a skeleton key. Trust her. She won’t use it to get out.

Christine Brandel

Christine Brandel



  1. Beautifully understated and economical. The despair lurking behind these lines is tempered by
    biting humor.

  2. Wow! What great energy!

  3. Very powerful!

  4. Simply stunning…

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