Janet Buck is a six-time Pushcart Nominee. Her second print collection,
Tickets to a Closing Play, was the winner of the 2002 Gival Press Poetry
The Bed Jacket
coy beneath containing flesh.
Prudish, yes. Unpardoned whim.
Beneath this sheath of politesse,
I'm sure there lived some
racy novel spinning wheels
in crazy lit roulettes of love.
A wild horse beneath
a saddle's cracking years.
A heroine with dignity,
Godiva with her locks unpinned.
A freer verse than sonnets ever
tampered with, where nipples
pushed through patted earth
like unexpected daffodils.
This surface chat of prettiness
was never substance of your soul.
And now I need your tenderness,
your vital vial of licking lips
to grease this gag of growing old.
A head-on crash with grief, this is.
I pick it up. My hands withdraw.
I see how worms have spun its silk,
left sprinkles of a tear-shaped pearl
on fabric of inheritance.
I see you there in prim repose.
All that's left on outskirts of a memory,
a handkerchief of ivory lace,
initialed with a futile wish
to have you back, to teach me grace
when I am oxen dragging bricks
and dying lies a pretty shade,
all the while a prisoner,
a burning eye of unmet sunrise
searching for its rightful hue.
Moon's white milk in liquid form.
That ace against atrocity.
Copyright © 2001 Janet I. Buck
Originally appeared in Nectarzine
Poet Page - Janet Buck
The Poetry of Janet I. Buck