Sunday, 6 September 2009

theodore roethke

The Geranium

When I put her out, once, by the garbage pail,
She looked so limp and bedraggled,
So foolish and trusting, like a sick poodle,
Or a wizened aster in late September,
I brought her back in again
For a new routine -
Vitamins, water, and whatever
Sustenance seemed sensible
At the time: she'd lived
So long on gin, bobbie pins, half-smoked cigars, dead beer,
Her shriveled petals falling
On the faded carpet, the stale
Steak grease stuck to her fuzzy leaves.
(Dried-out, she creaked like a tulip)

The things she endured! -
The dumb dames shrieking half the night
Or the two of us, alone, both seedy,
Me breathing booze at her,
she leaning out of her pot toward the window.

Near the end, she seemed almost to hear me -
And that was scary -
So when that snuffling cretin of a maid
Threw her pot and all, into the trash-can,
I said nothing.

But i sacked that presumptuous hag the next week,
I was that lonely

3 comments:

denise said...

good.

Dominic Rivron said...

What a crazy, witty poem!

(Still being cheered up by the thought of that Plath parody...)

swiss said...

it's sad but true that there are many aspects of this poem that are all too familiar! lol

i'm trying to locate a garlic poem but it may have to be allium generally..