Sunday 16 August 2020


by Grace Richards

He wrote me love letters
then, some on large, schmaltzy
drug store cards, proclaiming
in sparkly silver script:
For My Wife
on our Anniversary,
with earnest messages inside:
God blessed me with you;
I cannot imagine a life without you;
You have made my life complete.

My favorites are hand-made,
showing his humor and generosity:
If only I’d had enough wrapping paper
for that Jaguar.
He signed them with fanciful
names of admirers:
All the oleanders in our garden,
or imaginary jazz musicians:
Blind Orange Julius
and Hot T.

On Valentine’s Day
the year of our marriage,
he confessed his initial plan
was never to come near me,
further confessed his complete
inability to stay away.
He chose words like irresistible
and hopelessly in love,
including a detailed list of all
he loved about me:

your sensitivity,
sense of humor,
the way you look
when you’re lost in thought,
your legs,
your legs,
your legs.

To preserve his words, I kept
these treasures in a wooden box
elevated by ornate feet,
top painted with a Parisian scene,
as proof that he loved me – once,
but words must be spoken
with power and passion,
not buried in an antique,
resting on now broken feet,
paint faded, pale as tallow.

* * * * *

Grace Richards worked in the TV and film industry in Los Angeles and later taught ESL at the college level in Southern California and at the University of Oregon. During the last few most dramatic years, she has found her poetic voice. Her work has been published in online journals, such as Willawaw Journal, Writing in a Woman’s Voice, and HerStry blog, as well as in the anthology Poems on Poems and Poets. Her first chapbook, Mid-Century Modern and Other Poems, was published in September 2019.

1 comment:

  1. Sadly beautiful. The sudden turn at the end is memorable! Well done! Thank you so much for sharing!