She was pleased he’d brought
her favorite flower, tulips.
She held them like a reigning monarch
and pecked him on both cheeks.
He searched for traces
of her former beauty
and found them only
in her steel-grey eyes.
She’d noticed his pronounced limp,
the resigned slump of his shoulders,
and wondered about his health

They talked about her daughters.
She fumbled in her bag
and produced two photographs
which he pretended to examine
but was really remembering
how they’d met here between classes,
every day at two,
he a young James Dean
in his aviator shades
and a motorcycle jacket
that buttoned to one side,
she a preening model
in a miniskirt and fishnet stockings.

When the carillon struck three,
she left to get the girls,
placing a tulip in his hand
as she said goodbye.
He twirled it with his fingers
then put it in his coat,
returning to his pregnant cat
and his groaning shelves of books.

(originally published in Poetry Pacific)


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *