This Sad Little Affair
I came downstairs to find you asleep with your left leg stuck out for air.
You always do this. You always set the wooden spoon down beside some
concoction from a magazine and wrap your arms around me
because…..well…..I’m not quite sure.
You always buy marshmallow candy for me and critique my latest haircut.
I think of a book I read that was so vivid, so enthralling that I didn’t want it to end.
I wanted the adventure to go on forever.
As a child at the amusement park, I knew my tickets would be depleted,
I knew my time there would end as the lights went out on the midway,
as the funhouse went eerily silent.
Spring will come again soon like another slide in our magic lantern,
like the chapter where the hero saves his brave maiden as she teeters at some precipice.
And together they will frolic through the epilogue; playing word games, eating candy
and counting how many tickets remain.
Their arms intertwine as an embodiment of desperation while the concoction on
the back burner boils away to nothing.
I Should Have Asked the Blind Girl to Dance
The Jerk had become popular but
I imagine Susan would have preferred
something and someone to hold onto,
if only a memory. She wore no
dark glasses to hide behind, to
cover what my gaze always
avoided; deep set so eerily, like
the lifeless remains of cadavers;
But even the dead were once alive.
She may have smelled like the
bouquet carried by a beauty queen.
She may have sighed a breath
into my ear and asked for my name.
Me, the courageous spirit who
might have brought some spark
of light where only darkness lived.
But she was some thing to shun,
like the rambling street waif or
some strange delicacy, so foreign
to my sensitive palate. I remember
her friend, Annette, a black girl
who helped guide her from class
to class. I remember her fingers
working feverishly on the Braille
note taker. I remember Ms. Murphy
standing next to the juke box,
pleading with me to do just this
one thing at the Friday night canteen.
But I was no prince of chivalry.
Heroes were made on the ball field,
not on the dance floor. The jocks
and their queens would have surely
snickered, as I somehow became
Renfield for that night; repulsed
by nothing dead or alive. But yes, I
should have asked the blind girl to dance.
I could have been a hero to an
aging Spanish teacher. Susan and
I could have swayed along to
“Color My World”; our
awkwardness so very trivial and
worth every step.
William A. Greenfield is a writer of poetry, a part-time public service worker, a fairly good poker player, and a fairly poor golfer. He resides in Liberty, NY with his wife, son, and a dog; always a dog. Winner of Storyteller Magazine’s People’s Choice Award in 2012, William has had poems published in dozens of literary journals, including The Westchester Review, Carve Magazine, The East Coast Literary Review, and others. His chapbook, Momma’s Boy Gone Bad, was recently published by Finishing Line Press