Thursday, February 08, 2007

poetry thursday*

a pearl fence marks the
border between her
sagging neck and shoulders

rose red paint colors her
neatly trimmed fingernails
applied with an unsteady hand

we meet once a week along
the river road but she
never remembers my face

she greets me and mentions the
unusual weather for
the weather is always unusual

if it is a blue sky, and it usually is,
she’ll say how it matches a
print dress she once wore

there was a USO dance and her hair
was pulled back with combs
her lips redder than blood

he was so tall then, she’ll say
and so handsome in the uniform
with the polished brass buttons

so handsome, she’ll repeat
he had spent the afternoon shining
his shoes in anticipation of someone else

but he danced with her instead
and in the sixties they left their
four grown children up north

and came here because he liked
palm trees and her body in a
bikini, though you may not believe it

now not a month goes by without
a devoted great-grandchild flying down
to be by her side, but to tell the truth

she would just prefer to have him
though it was twenty years ago when
a heart attack broke his body

her wedding band remains embedded
on its finger like a vine cutting
through the thick flesh of an oak

are you married, she’ll ask me
with my nod, she'll say a good man
is worth his weight in gold

then we part and she continues on
with her memories rolling around
like a glass marble in her mouth

*this week's prompt: change

5 comments:

twilightspider said...

Oh wow. This gave me chills and nearly brought tears to my eyes.

Such a lovely retelling of a beautiful story. If this is, indeed, a true story, you have truly honored her here - whether she ever knows it or not.

Jessica said...

This is fabulous imagery. I especially like the ring like vine section and the end stanza. Beautiful!

Crafty Green Poet said...

a wonderful, heartbreaking character sketch.

gautami tripathy said...

Very touching post. Tearful. I can't get over the images.

gautami

Transposition.

Paige said...

Beautify.