Dark Hour

37 strings
2 hands
Loneliness slips through these faded floorboards.
I hope that it never comes back.

Somehow your Mother Maybelle voice seeps into the
room and then into my skin.

You sing an old tune – one that is close to your
heart and one that you tried to teach me many
times but that I never quite learned.

Perhaps I shall plant roses and lilies come springtime.
Would you like that?

Goodbye Betsy Brown

Red and white gingham quivers in the twilight
breeze as two tired legs mosey beside surly steel.

We are surrounded by this rosy sky
and those noble rolling green hills.
This valley is a paradise to me,
but to you – a provincial prison.

You shiver – even though we are now shrouded
under ginger hued mantles
 – because you
accidentally abandoned your shawl on that wobbly
peg in your haste to catch the 6 o’clock train.

It’s not coming, is it?

From May to December

It was love at first sight.
I was at the Debec Mart buying mouthwash
when I noticed you from across the room.
Slender and fresh, dressed in the deepest of
purples and wearing a green beret,
you were the loveliest Melongena Ovata on the shelf.

At first you were shy, not wanting to speak with me.
I was a stranger after all!
But when I began to talk of a life of ratatouille
and parmigiana di melanzane you saw
that I wasn’t a run of the mill hack chef.
You saw a future with me – there was possibility – and
I couldn’t have been happier!

You came home with me that night.
You trusted me too much.
You were so innocent.
Can you forgive me?

I introduced you to the olive oil and
to the various spices and salts in the pantry.
You were especially fond of the large
cast iron skillet – that cad!
I knew he would take you away from me
if I wasn’t careful.
I made a mental note to not have him out
when you were around.

The next day we enjoyed pasta together for dinner;
You were more comfortable in your skin and
I knew that you would soon be ready for more
complicated dishes.

When we parted ways, you lied down in the
crisper and I retreated to the bedroom.

Then life got busy and we saw less and
less of each other until one day I couldn’t
remember the last time that we had talked.
I figured that you had left me sometime during the summer.
I missed you but knew that it was for the best.

I found you today.
I was looking for a shallot but found you instead – oh the agony – oh the despair!
You were shriveled and rancid; your purple cloak now a dull squishy brown,
…….a mere shadow of your former self!
What had I done?

Cast Iron and I buried you with the compost.
I sang taps; he beat himself against the stove.
Clang!  Clang!
He had always loved you more than I – I understand that now.

There would be no ratatouille or
parmigiana di melanzane for us.
We just weren’t meant to be.

Now when I go to the Debec Mart, your friends and family glare at me.
I have no words for them.
I am too ashamed.

Morning Injury

This morning I was retrieving the newspaper when I
accidentally stubbed my toe on a broken dream that
some hooligan had carelessly discarded on the lawn.

After mumbling a few choice words under my breath,
I bent down to look at the dream and saw that it had
once been quite lovely and well cared for.
It probably had been very handsome in its prime,
but even the most resilient dream can snap in two 
if it has been excessively agitated.

Now, in my day we didn’t dump our disappointments 
over another person’s property like rubbish.
Women of my generation had propriety; we kept our
crushed hopes inside of the house, away from prying eyes
and we certainly never made a public display of them.

I still keep my broken dreams in a small powder
blue box at the back of my underwear drawer.
I haven’t see the key to that box in years.

I wonder if I lost it?