Southern Pacific Review Editorial Services

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Apple Fritter and a Single Rose

by
Donal Mahoney
After 30 years together,
Carol tells me late one evening
in the manner of a quiet wife
that I have yet to write a poem

about her, something she
will never understand in light
of all those other poems
she says I wrote

about those other women
before she drove North.
And so I tell her once again
I wrote those other poems

about no women I ever knew
the way I now know her
even if I saw them once or twice
for dinner, maybe,

and a little vodka
over lime and ice.
Near midnight, though,
she says again

in the manner of a quiet wife
it's been thirty years
and still no poem.
When morning comes

I motor off to town to buy
a paper and a poem
for Carol
but find instead

undulating in a big glass case
an apple fritter,
tanned and glistening,
lying there just waiting.

So I buy the lovely fritter
and a single long-stem rose
orphaned near the register,
roaring red, and still

at full attention.
I bring them home but find
Carol still asleep
and so I put the fritter

on the breadboard
and the rose right next to it,
at the proper angle.
When she wakes I hope

the fritter and the rose
will buy me time until
somewhere in the attic
of my mind I find

a poem that says
more about us than
this apple fritter,
tanned and glistening,

lying there just waiting,
and a single long-stem rose,
roaring red, and still
at full attention.

<em>Donal Mahoney has worked as an editor for The Chicago Sun-Times, Loyola University Press and Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri. He has had poems published in The Wisconsin Review, The Kansas Quarterly, The South Carolina Review, The Beloit Poetry Journal, Commonweal, The Christian Science Monitor, The Chicago Tribune, Public Republic (Bulgaria), Revival (Ireland), The Istanbul Literary Review (Turkey), Pirene's Fountain (Australia) and other publications.</em>

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