PETUNIAS OUT BACK
"She is not well / and petunias give no / sympathy."
ONE OF THE THINGS I LIKE MOST
about my spouse is talking with him,
about nothing, about the garden
and how the five-dollar orchid
that looked dead is sending out
new buds, or about things we shared
over twenty-thee years,
some I thought I’d forgotten,
but not stuff about computers and cars
and how to lower my taxes—I listen
and pretend I’m following along,
I mean, whatever does one say about
a vintage car that makes any sense,
it’s metal, it was popular,
it took people places.
In college geology the prof talked
of igneous, metamorphic, and sedimentary.
I’d nod, not getting it. We find
our way back to should we watch
a Dean Martin rerun or a Burns & Allen,
order a pizza as both cats
thump down wood stairs.
a note from the author
"Petunias Out Back" appeared in RR in 1985. I was 31 then--I'm 62 now. I'd like to say, maybe, that I was a "struggling" poet then, but I'm still struggling. Decades go by--and word choice remains central. One thing that joins past and present is the garden. Petunias in 1985--petunias ready for 2017. Poems look for their spring, the right conditions in which to bloom. Perhaps now I'm more open than I was then. My garden is less hidden. In "One of the Things I Like Most" I am still finding "our way back." I think I'll do that for the rest of my like, back and forward, hopefully with blossoms.
Kenneth Pobo has a new book from Circling Rivers called Loplop in a Red City. In addition to appearances in Roanoke Review, his work has appeared in Hawaii Review, Nimrod, Mudfish, Two Thirds North, The Fiddlehead, and elsewhere. He teaches English and creative writing at Widener University.