Sunday, November 30, 2008
Primroses (an older one slightly revised)
...and so it is......Damien Rice
I still keep that photo you snapped.
Eyes just past childlike; china masked by steel.
The edge of one breast peeks from my half-
zippered jumpsuit. Primroses cluster
beneath the far rail.
Men hustled me then, hard as gamblers
when the dice were red hot,
trailed the sway of my hips
in hopes of leaving their seed.
I chose you--you with the wrist-thin legs,
white cotton socks peeking furtively
from beneath your creased jeans.
Gold ring, third finger down.
The day was heady with sunshine
and bright-colored birds swooping deep
into the grass in search of plump juicy worms.
You fell hard that day
from your usual straight arrow ways.
I later settled for a man from Peoria.
Legs thick as an ox.
A lifetime later, your name
lept out. Some obscure article
about spiders. Hands damp, I wrote you.
Your hair has gone gray, you reply.
Work still goes well.
Your jeans don't fit, anymore.
You stick in a photo of your daughter.
Your eyes stare at me from her face.
I never forgot you, you add, but
isn't that's how life goes?
The birds fly slower today.
Too many worms get away.
The sun swells like a heartbeat.
Sweat pours down my back.
I plant extra primroses along my porch rail,
imagine a westerly wind rising later
to carry their scent back to you.
A slightly different version of this was published in The Dead Mule, Spring Issue 2007. Thank you, Dead Mule!
Photograph from archives