I haven’t written you a poem for some time now. I hope you don’t think that means I love you less or that you don’t mean as much to me as you always have, you do. This preoccupation of life has kept my nose to the grindstone: work, sorting out our retirement goals, spending time with our grandkids, and projects around the house. Nevertheless, worry not sweetheart, you’re always front and center in my thoughts. Everywhere I turn, you are there – your blue eyes, long blonde angel hair, and pearly white teeth behind voluptuous lips. Scrumptious! What man or woman in their right mind could overlook your presence?
So today, I’ve decided to grab a sheet of vintage stationary – your favorite – my quill and black ink and scribble you a poem while it’s fresh on my mind. I’ve also grabbed my red sealing wax along with the Tree of Life stamp to seal it shut adding a knotted ribbon for good security measure. As with all the poetry I’ve penned for you, it will be for your eyes only … well, at least until we’re both dead, then my surreptitious words of affection will be open to the world for all to discover. And I’ll gladly come back to haunt the first person who refers to them as porn, that being if they’re clever enough to decode the metaphors. Therefore, I begin.
Using Victorian language, I write the first line not bothering with a title. (Once the first draft is complete, along with editing and rewrites, and of course, my words of discontent you always hear slithering out from underneath my studio door, then the title will reveal itself.) As I recline back reading the first verse with a self-congratulatory smile, the strangest phenomenon happened; the letters begin to peel, and I mean literally peel off the page. I make a fist and hit them in an effort to get them to stick back onto the page but with no success. I watch as they drift higher appearing to seep through the ceiling without leaving an ink stain. I turn my attention back to the page, rewrite the verse again, and furiously continue in hopes that I can finish, roll up the page, seal it, and tie it with the ribbon before any more letters can escape, rewrite be damned. This proved unsuccessful as I completed the poem signing as always, ‘With all my heart, Your Lover Boy’, only to watch them lift from the page and swirl upwards like leaves in an updraft.
In anxious frustration, I toss my quill on the desk knocking over the ink well and run to the backyard to see if the words have continued their journey upwards. Low and behold, there the poem goes in its entirety floating in unison like a ribbon twirling in the wind, higher and higher. As I observed this new outlandish display, it was then that reality threw a punch to my gut. I buckled over, fell to my knees, and wept. After a moment, I peered up wiping the tears away but could no longer see the words. With the warmth of the sun on my face, I watched the clouds meander by on a gentle wind, a wind that spoke softly in my ear, “Thank you, sweetheart, Your Lover Girl”.
I smiled, blew you a kiss, and went back inside.
Bruce Rowe was born and raised in Shreveport La. where he gained an affinity for wildlife. His curiosity of how life would be in the forest if animals behaved as humans prompted him to write, The Chrysalis and the Creatures of the Highlands. He has had short stories published at Spillwords.com, Dastaanworld and Cafelit. ‘The Rider’, his first short story, was nominated Publication of the Month at Spillwords in October 2018. As well, ‘Grandfather’s Clock’ was a featured piece at Spillwords. ‘The Lonely Traveler’ received a special mention at Cafelit. He has been nominated twice as Author of the month at Spillwords. His poem, 'Twiggy Thin', is published in Clarendon House Publication’s, Poetica. His story, 'Hair of the Dog', is published in Zombie Works Publication, Monsterthology 2. He presently lives in Oceanside California where he spends his time writing, body surfing and playing guitar.