How odd you look, Madame Olga,
with that ridiculous turban
wrapped around your graying head
and that careless slash of red lipstick
that does absolutely nothing for you
(unless you're channeling Lucille Ball)
The truth is we're both stuck here, Madame Olga,
in this tiny, seedy parlor
with its peeling floral wallpaper and
dim lighting from a feeble lamp
Do you find me strange too, Madame Olga,
the lonely widow waiting nervously for you to speak,
waiting for you to tell me about a
tall, dark, handsome stranger
coming into my life,
someone residing in an unnamed wonderland,
a savior eager to share his vast fortune
You ask me to come back tomorrow
after I clean out my savings account
and pawn my QVC jewelry collection
It will be then when you plan to
take my money and regale me
with prayers, chants, incantations,
when you attempt to dazzle and divert me
and make my money vanish
like the proverbial rabbit
in an old-time magic show
But I have to question your fading psychic power
You seem not to know intuitively
that your creation of my mythical lover
and his nonexistent wonderland
is headed for extinction
once the hidden wire I'm wearing
performs its own inimitable
POETRYREPAIRS #217 v15,09.099
JANET I. BUCK
L'amour was never meant to take the job
of babysitting china dolls, cracked and broken,
locked in dreams of shuffling feet.
I wish demise were shutter clicks,
aneurisms, heart attacks, quickly
moving cancer cells, anything with
speed to move the dragging clock
closer, quicker to the end.
Digressing bones and organs just
not playing right because of pills
keep pushing on the same revolving door.
Vertigo and wistfulness are synonyms.
You place your back to face my face.
We used to be the spoon cliché.
I tell you, I'm in agony—I cannot sleep.
You say, Uh Huh. Subject closed.
Pity with detachment ploys dishevels me.
Remember what nirvana was?
A country dance floor, double spins—
shoes like tongues that met and kissed.
I hide behind a laptop screen. You hit the couch.
I hear you slap two pillows down,
sure you'd rather strike my cheek.
We tread the house, even though I cannot walk,
two stalking cats, lions in our clammy mouths.
You've practiced hard at smooth escapes.
Silent Night is not the hymn it used to be.
I think we could have weathered
shrinking lemons of a sun, common
tunes of poverty, this legless waltz,
if not for me—my constant craving for a life
of promises made and kept —a body
that cooperates to let me stand and move.
An edgy voice says, "I suppose you want more tea?"
Your eyes betray the thoughtful words.
You set it on the bed stand hard enough to crack the cup.
Grass is green, but heartlands need a watering.
Quiet is a deadly nomenclature
marking tumbling out of love.
Touch-me-not's are more than flowers.
POETRYREPAIRS #217 v15,09.099
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read more poetry
RALPH MONDAY's Winter Miscellany (12 poems) appears in poetryrepairs #205 14.10
He will be guest editor for issue #220 16.02
JANET I. BUCK is among our earliest poets and the first guest editor (her "classroom issue" gained many readers for poetryrepairs.com). BUCK's poems generally start with injury or inconvenience then turn to the good in life; Just as the line 'L'amour' was not meant to take the job' negates precisely what one expects of love, staying power during adversity.
Jalal din Rumi, mystic poet, said about treasure: “Wherever there is a ruin, there is hope for treasure—why do you not seek the treasure of God in the wasted heart?”