Usually Valentines are for lovers, and I've happily written my share of those, but this Valentine, "Ruby Roses Kiss Good-bye,"is for my former psychotherapist. I saw her for many years, until she had a stroke and closed her practice. Actually, I still see and speak to her, but not as a patient anymore. I guess I'd have to say I've become a kind of a friend. Friends deserve Valentines, don't you think? Those two rose earrings are like two little red heart reminders of all she did for me. Taking up the task of figuring out this relationship is the subject of my new book of poems, The Analyst, just out from W. W. Norton and Company. If the spirit moves you, please breeze over to my website: www.mollypeacock.org And if you are curious about the backstory, please visit Salon.com or Partisanmagazine.ca.
Ruby Roses, Kiss Good-Bye
You, who saved me from hardening,
let me not harden now
but walk into the world, disarmed
yet escorted by these emissaries:
two ruby rose earrings, in echo
of years ago, when I passed my hand,
arm brushing my ear as I sobbed,
back to you, behind me in your chair
with your notes, glasses and clock.
You took my hand and brushed
my hair over my temple.
After each hour I always bought
some little thing. Today those earrings
—two ruby rose hard things
remind me not to harden.
Let me feel naked without them.
“Ruby Roses, Kiss Good-bye” is published with the permission of the author and W.W. Norton and Company, in celebration of the publication of The Analyst. The poem originally appeared in Contemporary Verse 2 (Canada).
©2017 Molly Peacock
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