Bob Bradshaw, Falling

Lovers Showering in a Thunderstorm

We only belt out songs in the shower.
Otherwise neighbors would race

from their houses screaming
and firetrucks would roar up

to the curb, their hoses poised
to dowse our songs.

The shower’s streaming applause
is never enough without you.

Are the movies ever more romantic
than when a young couple

sponges each other in a shower
tight as a tube skirt?

One move lathers your breast
from my soapy chest.

Who cares about warnings
of showering during a lightning storm?

All love involves risk.
In this shower, where it’s always

the rainy season in a tropical forest,
there is never fear of lit-up skies.

Anything dirtying our past —
before we knew each other —
has been washed away.

A Southern Beauty Answers My Call For Support

A southern voice greeted me.
She promised to send out a new heater.

For her, hibiscus and camellia were in bloom
outside an open perfume bottle.

Her voice was a fragrance.
How is your weather?

“It isn’t weather for Gene Kelly,
icy roads and snow

“piled as high as fences.
I just lumbered to the end of the driveway —

“a man with hair like ash,
dressed in heavy woollens,

“a muffler around my neck —
to pick the paper up.

“I staggered back snow blind.”
She laughed, said I should stay in

and read Anna Karenina instead.
“I thought you’d recommend Faulkner

“not Tolstoy.” She laughed again.
Could I hold her on the line

long enough to get her number?
But already she was thanking me,

wishing me a good holiday,
her voice threatening to melt

into the air like a heady perfume.
And then she was gone.

I held onto the phone as if holding
onto her hand, but in the end

there was nothing left
to hold onto.

Falling for a Japanese Maple

What man doesn’t long to sit
among high branches, peering straight up
at the white undergarments of clouds?

I am embarrassed to admit it.
But I had no choice after
snapping branches that I clipped

in my fall. What were you thinking,
is what everyone asks, a man
at your age?

As I negotiate steep stairs
with my crutches,
my wife asks, “Now do you regret
your foolishness?”

I pause at the top step. A Japanese maple,
her red leaves tiling the air,
leans against the window,
her shimmering dress

as lovely as any kimono’s,
a beauty always worth
going out on
a limb for.

Bob Bradshaw is searching for a hammock to spend his retirement in. His poems have appeared in Apple Valley Review, Autumn Sky Poetry DAILY, Cha: An Asian Literary Journal, Eclectica, Ekphrastic Review, Pedestal Magazine, and many other publications.

Bob regularly appears in Dodging The Rain.

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