Sometimes relationships work; sometimes not so well. I find a lot of material to write about when it comes to relationships. I write a lot of poetry about people, not so much about the natural world. My most recent book, Ah, Men (Aldrich Press, 2016) explores a whole range of relationships, mostly upbeat. I'm fond of men. www.nancyscott.net
Perfectly matched, my parents never underestimated
each other, never turned away to lick wounds
inflicted by the other’s rapier tongue.
Late night fights could be heard blocks away.
My grandmother went with them on their honeymoon
in an open touring car from Chicago to LA in 1931.
I never understood why they got married, she’d say,
they argued the whole time.
After twenty-five years, Dad finally walked out,
but a glitch in the law prevented divorce.
With his ragged heart barely pumping, he paraded
his red-haired mistress. Only by his dying
was Mother victorious. At his funeral, she played
The Grieving Widow, counted cars in the cortege,
noted who came back to her house
to eat and remember him—spoils of a lifetime at war.
I was deep into this dream
where our tangled bodies
were naked in the wet grass,
stars overhead, suddenly
a neon sign flashed,
Vegan Cocktail Guaranteed to…,
no matter, the magic was gone.
I floundered around for
a new dream and found myself
standing in front of your grave,
but you weren’t there.
Gone Fishing was staked
next to your headstone.
I know how much you hate fish,
so what changed your mind?
It turned to autumn overnight;
yesterday the forsythia
were blooming, but today
I’m shuffling through fallen
leaves trying to find you.
No one remembers seeing you
or a fishing pole slung over
your shoulder, so here’s the deal:
If I scroll to the part where we
were throbbing with passion,
would you forget all
this craziness and come back?
If he’d taken coffee black and she’d never ordered scones,
Fate would have passed them by that Tuesday afternoon.
Like revelers at Mardi Gras, they dressed Desire
in silver fox, adorned its head with plumes,
and from its ears dangled rubies.
She lusted for his eager hands, the thrust of his beefy hips,
his bristled beard against her skin.
Each time she heard those silken chords reassure his wife,
The Interstate is jammed. I’ll be late, my dear,
Trust scuttled up an alley ahead of promises he made
until the day he whispered, I can’t do this anymore.
Truth emptied out the streets, except for a stray feather,
a string of pearls unstrung.
Yet, she'd known the Devil before and she was not undone.
© 2017 Nancy Scott
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