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Sweet Petunias — Bitter Lemons

by Carmen Ruggero

Come visit my garden, will you?
We’ll have a cup of tea.
The backyard trees will
give us shade,
petunias are in full bloom
this time of year...
they smell sweet,
we’ll talk.
Shall I bake cookies?
Or do you fancy an apple pie?
I shall make us lemonade.

Funny I should miss you,
we spoke only once,
you showed interest,
I never heard from you again,
I can’t rightfully say
I remember your name.

But I heard you... distinctly...
you said you’d call.

People often say
things they don’t mean...
so don’t feel bad,
perhaps you thought you had to,
or thought I needed to hear.
Did you read my loneliness?
Was I so transparent?

But I heard you... distinctly...
you said you’d call.

It could have been my appearance
that displeased you,
so I cut my hair... it looks nice.
Changed the color on my nails,
You said something about it,
that night...

Was I, maybe, too intense?
Trying to make an impression,
sometimes, we all act that way.
So, I lied about baking cookies,
I’ve only recently learned,
and I’ll master that apple pie,
if only I thought you’d come by,
but the backyard trees are there,
the petunias, and the shade, as well.

Was it because I’ve passed fifty?
You’re not a young one yourself,
I could tell.
Was it my manners? My speech?
Perhaps too formal for you?

So I’ll change it too,
along with the hair and nails,
and say to you something like:
“Come visit my pad you homos-brutus,
I’ll throw in the chips and a whiskey,
I’m lonelier than hell!”

And then perhaps you’ll call,
and throw some loving my way,
though I won’t even resemble
the one you’ve met.
But don’t you fret about it,
’cause that one, well, that one...
no one has ever loved, anyway.

Copyright © 2006 by Carmen Ruggero

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