Love Is Relative

In my father's private closet,
scotch-taped to the inside door

(not tacked; tacks will mar the grain, John...)

was a picture of Rita Hayworth
all slink and smoke in that Gilda dress,

no straps and a poised Pall Mall,
cherry lipstick on its air-brushed filter

(I go to bed at night with her, son, but wake to your mother)

The picture was tattered, torn at the edges;
peeled down in a place or two like black satin gloves

it was signed at the bottom corner, in faded ink
that read 'To John...Love, Margarita'

(Close the closet, dear, I can't stand the excitement)

I asked my father once who signed that blue name
but it turned out to be 'just a girl from Brooklyn, kid'

who danced at the Palace Theater where he ushered
society couples to their seats for 10 cents an hour

(but now he is a faithful and obedient servant)

That picture hung there as long as I did, and longer;
it warmed him, it was the only thing that ever did and

when my father died, I found it folded neatly beneath
his unionsuits, in a drawer my mother never touched

(more women in the world than anything, else, son)

except insects. But what I want to know is

did it bother you?


Anne said...

Wow, that hit some of my nerves,
that last sentence there.

Poet Mutiso said...

Sounds so classic. Reminds me how much I still love classic British and American poetry. Not that I never loved the ones from other countries; just that I never got to read them. Sometimes I feel that a poem should be framed and put on the living room wall just above the furnace. where the shadow of the flames loves to hide.

Rob Kistner said...

Excellent with a nice period ring to it. Very engaging.

Shy Machete said...

It would have bothered me.
Smooth writing. Thanks for sharing.

De.vile said...

I like you terribly, especially the pictures on the side. I might have to nail them all to my walls

gautami tripathy said...

Nostalgic and thought provoking.

JaneDoughnut said...

Of course.

But the memories that haunt us, haunt them as well.

JohnB said...

This so reminds me of my own father...it's funny how much the same we all are, but then before one knows it, different.

Brian said...

Just wanted to let you know that I have stopped by every couple days for a few weeks to see if there is anything new. Each time I read this poem anew, and each time is wonderful.

JaneDoughnut said...

On rereading, I wonder if the wife didn't ever fantasize she was Rita herself. And if not... why not?

Jarod K. Anderson said...

Wow. Very nice work.

Ashley said...

Again, I don't know if this is you, but this lady is posting a lot of similar/exact blogs.


phee said...

oh dear... here it is December and there have been no new poems since May. I'm so disappointed! Please write more... I do love your work...

homo escapeons said...

Those were the days when STARS were managed by the studios and we didn't have an insane paparrazi to supply our insatiable desire for celebrity/gossip.

We look back on those STARS and need not wonder why they shone so much brighter than today's celebrities...we didn't know as much about them.

Rita had some serious Va Va Voom!

dharmabum said...

hey thats a good one. rita was hawt :)

writerwoman said...

Do you think you will be adding more poetry to this site?

Email me at IlovetowriteSMP@yahoo.com and let me know if you want to stay a member of Poets Who Blog.

Read this first

I've stopped by all the PWb members sites today because I am updating our blogroll.



Fabrizio said...

Yeah, sometime we cannot leave the past, while we live in the present.

Cool poem. Intriguing...


StillMa said...

Today, your email brought me to your writing. Writing so strong and sweet and biting that it brought tears to my eyes.
The last entry over a year ago...
Why did you stop? Where have you been?
Please.... come back.


Anonymous said...

I came to your words a blind man.

My sight began to return.

A distant shaft of light penetrating the forest canopy.

The a cry of a lone bird in some recondite place in my heart's past.


My love. My greatest sorrow.

The Lettershaper said...

What a lovely, lovely thing to say. I thank you very much.