Two Poems by Peter D. Goodwin
We could save some money, she suggested, she would give up her apartment
move in with me, pay me rent and we would both save, she said.
Let me think about, I said, holding her body close, snuggling tight,
thinking how our two bodies smoothly fit each other.
So I thought about this money saving proposition
of hers, this cost cutting maneuver
her body her presence a gentle pressure against my indecision.
Meanwhile her clothes cluttered corners in my spaces
pictures of her kids turned up next to pictures of my late wife.
She not noticing the incongruity
and neither did I.
Meanwhile I'm thinking of all the pictures on her walls
uninteresting photographs of her family
dull reproductions of stale art
and her furniture, her big, massive, soft furniture
all the clutter, which she would bring with her
which I would have to make room for
and I wondered how I could make room, whether I wanted to make room
And where would I find the room, my home already perfect and comfortable
(even if my neighbors made unkind comments about my well worn surfaces).
They were rooted in place and showed no inclination to depart.
And did I really need to save some money and rearrange my settled self?
Yet whenever she was absent, I missed her presence, even her clutter
how she banished the emptiness and the silence in my settled spaces
so I permitted her to abandon her past and move in with me
So we can both save a few pennies.
Soon closets that had been static for years are cleaned out, reorganized and re-
imagined, familiar belonging shipped off to goodwill, or the dump,
the kitchen reorganized, so I can find nothing, and when found is unfamiliar
rooted furniture is uprooted and replaced, the new surprisingly comfortable.
And all this I accept with an amazing passivity, even good humor
even grace, and I wonder whether senility is approaching.
I silently scream, This is a mistake, a terrible, a majestic mistake
a disaster of a misalliance.
My doctor worries about my blood pressure
demands constant monitoring
offers various prescription options.
Is it cowardice, I wonder, that stops me from saying, Stop!!!
This will not work, I want my things back just the way they were,
And you at a comfortable distance, undemanding,
My life unchanging!
But I don't, we reach an accord:
I allow her to re-arrange my life
she allows me my complaints.
Why? Oh why
did she ‘friend’ me
Who almost 50 years ago
And 50 years later
still annoying me
Hi, How have you been?
So casual like
Strange isn’t it?
I search her profile page
for her face
remembering her body
her hair, her
gestures, her wicked
sense of humor
the breaking up—
wondering whether we
will discover, all over
again, the reasons
searching for that girl
within the face
who is is now
who is comfortable
secure in her ways
if sometimes lonely
whose future —like mine—
is no longer
but settled in
tending to her garden
caring for her family
cherishing old friends
and her comfortable cat
While long forgotten
threatening to swamp me
I wish to push her away
desire still smoldering
still enjoying her charm,
her humor, remembering
her body and lips
flirting again, dangerous
imagining her still young
that she lives
Raised in Great Britain, educated in America and on the road, Peter D. Goodwin now divides his time between the streets and vibrant clutter of New York City. and the remnants of the natural world along Maryland’s Chesapeake Bay, discovering in the dislocation of environments and cultures the creative edge where words rekindle their spark.
Poems published in the chapbook, No Sense Of History; and anthologies: September eleven; Maryland Voices; Listening to The Water: The Susquehanna Water Anthology; Alternatives To Surrender; Wild Things–Domestic and Otherwise; This Path; From The Porch Swing; The Coming Storm.
As well as in various journals including Rattle, Memoir(and),River Poets Journal, Delaware Poetry Review, Yellow Medicine Review, Twisted Tongue, Poetry Monthly, Main Street Rag, LockRaven Review, Sliver of Stone, Literary Nest, Greensilk Review.