© 2018 THE LONG ISLAND LITERARY JOURNAL

Two Poems by Peter D. Goodwin

Misalliance

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.

 

 

FaceBook Friend

Why? Oh why

did she ‘friend’ me

on FaceBook?

 

Who almost 50 years ago

dumped me

(annoying me)

 

And 50 years later

still annoying me

Hi, How have you been?

 

So casual like

chatting away

Strange isn’t it?

 

I search her profile page

for her face

remembering her body

 

her hair, her

gestures, her wicked

sense of humor

 

vividly remembering

the breaking up—

so sudden—

 

wondering whether we

will discover, all over

again, the reasons

 

searching for that girl

within the face

who is is now

 

widow

grandmother

matriarch

 

who is comfortable

secure in her ways

if sometimes lonely

 

whose future —like mine—

is no longer

a mystery

 

no longer

an exploration

an adventure

 

but settled in

sedentary ways

tending to her garden

 

caring for her family

cherishing old friends

and her comfortable cat

 

While long forgotten

feelings flood

threatening to swamp me

 

I wish to push her away

but cannot

desire still smoldering

 

still enjoying her charm,

her humor, remembering

her body and lips

 

flirting again, dangerous

emotions simmering

imagining her still young

 

thankful

that she lives

far away.

 

 

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.