On Mistaking One’s Wife’s Legs for Another’s

I suppose there can be no happier mistake,
And one that I was shocked to make,
Than to look with longing at a female leg
And thinking yourself a rather bad egg

for admiring the calf and the well-turned ankle–
A crime that makes the divorce bar thankful–
Then allowing your gaze to climb slowly higher
To take in the woman and better espy her

And find, once you’ve crossed the line of her clavicle,
And to get a better view, made a move tactical,
That the woman you admire in line ahead of you
Is one who has shared a marital bed with you.

You have to laugh, and confess the crime,
Though no one gave you the Miranda warning,
You won’t be sentenced to do hard time,
Your excuse is no coffee, it was early in the morning.
Of course your wife may be of two minds about this,
As you tell her the story once she gets a surprise kiss;

You were being naughty, and your eye had wandered,
Some domestic good will you have certainly squandered.
I possessed the mens rea, the criminal intent,
And I had no alibi, but an iron-clad defense:
“It wasn’t another woman I wanted to woo, dear,
My heart leapt up when I looked at you, dear.”


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