The Jacob Henry Suite

JACOB HENRY (1910-1977)

I resolve:

To prickle you with frozen snot mustache. To foul your air with rancid acid burps. To hack my phlegm upon your wedding dress. To feel you squirm beneath my grubby hands.

To hate to hate your hate of loving me. To learn to love your love of hating me. To swallow words you could have should have ate. To bear the weight and learn to masturbate.


I ask that you withhold your frozen snot and spew no filth upon my wedding dress. Your resolutions fill me with disgust. I wonder why I kissed you even once.

Pathetically, you think it bothers me that you feel bitter, broken, lost, betrayed. Listen here, oh Jacob, honey, dear: your plight’s beneath me, and I do not care.


In ’31, a man and wife I wed filled my old church with friends and relatives. The groom, a dashing fellow carved from stone; his bride, a dewy blue-eyed beauty true.

The congregation filled the room with blooms, and kin and cousins grinned and wished the best, but when it came to making wedding vows, I noted in the girl some hesitance.

The bride betrayed no fear when marching forth. ’Twas not her words, indeed, her voice was firm. Her eyes, however, gave this preacher pause: they quivered, shaken from an inner storm.

MARTHA HENRY (1891-1953)

My husband perished well before his time. His eyes rolled back as Jacob woke and wailed. My baby seemed to sense his father’s death. His eyes welled up as Alfred breathed his last.

So Alfred’s father took us in for good and treated baby Jacob as a prince. My son lacked no toys children his age loved, yet during play he screwed his face in pain.

LUCY GOLDSMITH (1913-1986)

Jacob’s eyes are marbles, nothing more, or so it seems, for he is blind to see the tender signs of love I show him now as he sips tea and stares off wistfully.

When our eyes meet, as if by accident, he coughs and looks away immediately. I wish my mind could enter in his thoughts to know what ills him. Lord, he frustrates me.


I graduated Princeton, studied law, and joined my father’s practice here in town. In line to own the firm as soon as he retires, I’ve earned a fair amount of wealth.

Although I seem a master of my work, my once-adoring wife respects me not. I only ask she cook and bear a son. She will do neither, holding back her love.

DAISY PATTON (1904-1985)

I grew up skipping through my father’s fields, enjoying nature with my sister Dot. Sunshine tinged our cheeks a rosy hue as flowers filled our baskets made of straw.

But with time, flowers wilted in their vase, and marriage took my sister ’way from me. Soon wrinkles etched a path across her face; her rosy cheeks have dulled to lifeless gray.