Millicent Borges Accardi has received fellowships from the National Endowment for the arts (NEA), the California Arts Council, the Barbara Deming Foundation (Money for Women), Jentel, and the Corporation of Yaddo.  Her work has appeared in over 50 literary publications including Nimrod, Tampa Review, New Letters and Wallace Stevens Journal as well as a in Boomer Girls (Iowa Press) anthology.  She lives in Topanga, CA and telecommutes as a technical writer.  She presently has three manuscripts in progress, looking forward to the publication of her first book. This fall, she was an artist in residence at Fundación Valparaíso in Mojacar, Spain.


The woman thought she would be good,
making sure he washed,

rescuing black stockings, wood pile
scraps. Finding theatre tickets

and collecting parking stubs.
She thought she would be good

at using his soap. Remembering
not to wear perfume and waking

up to call home. In the hotel,
hiding while the hot water ran,

her heart compact as plywood.
She thought she would be good

at belonging. The bulk of her time
a two-by -four dove-tailed into a corner,

getting the best he had to offer.
She thought she had a talent for being aloof.

On him, she made few demands.
When he was away, she imagined

his heart open, fearless
hands holding a piece of wood steady

while a diamond-point blade cut through.

Join the conversation

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

  • April April 16, 2009 at 3:02 pm

    I love wood as your controlling image!

  • Angela C. April 15, 2009 at 10:04 pm

    Love it! Especially relevant to me, since we have carpenters working here every day, cutting wood and breaking hearts. ; )

  • JP Schoenberg April 15, 2009 at 12:44 am

    Beautiful. This poem makes me want to hold my breath and then gasp.

  • sarah daugherty April 14, 2009 at 10:10 pm

    Millicent, this is a great poem that tells the females persona’s perceptions of love and relationships like an unfolding damaged flower. I am impressed. THanks for this one!
    l, sarah daugherty

  • Lin Van Gelder April 12, 2009 at 10:34 am

    Thank you for this poem. Lovely, lovely work from a poet who cares about writing, passionately.

  • M J Andrade April 11, 2009 at 12:40 pm

    LOVED Millicent’s poem–a perfect selection. Thank you for sharing this talented artist with the whirlwind of the web! More, please.

  • Lois Kackley April 11, 2009 at 10:23 am

    Great talent. Wonderful place (website) for recharging battery. Thanks to all who make it happen.
    … do I smile…
    Lois Kackley

  • andrew burke April 10, 2009 at 11:27 pm

    I really enjoyed that poem. Thanks, Millicent. And what a pretty photo, too!

  • Jane Satterfield April 10, 2009 at 7:57 pm

    Congrats, Millicent, and thanks for the alert to this fine poem!

  • WVFC Poetry Friday: Millicent Borges Accardi « Elizabeth Willse April 10, 2009 at 10:24 am

    […] Read her poem at Women’s Voices For Change Published in: […]