Week 1/Day 4. Rose Red goes quantity surveying (a poem)

This is my fourth poem of the online retreat.

It’s an interesting bit of kismet.

Despite my childhood crush
and her reddened cheeks,

I fail to recognize her

until she sits down
at the other side of the table.

She is almost formless—
I can’t even tell you what she’s wearing.

She carries a book with her;
it, too, has a blank cover.

Despite my checkered past,
I cannot help looking for the hidden flaws
that would draw me in,

those little things that promise
to upend the narrative of domestic bliss.

She makes notes in her book,
perhaps scoring the earnestness
cowering beneath my placid demeanor,

perhaps checking off the flaws
that I will use to disqualify myself from consideration.

Finishing the tea I wasn’t aware she’d been drinking,
she gets up, exits the coffee shop,

gets in her car, and drives away.

I am startled by the sound
of glass breaking behind the counter.

“That doesn’t sound good,”
says someone at the next table.

(8 October 2020)

Wishes sometimes have consequences is available to order from your favorite local bookstore.

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