Frog kiss, number 9
Leaving Manhattan, we hopped
on the ‘7’ as the moon reappeared
through the autumn of branches.
Ensconced in the smoke and the
steam, your mid shelf cologne
and acoustics of wheel clanking
screeches through the twilight
of tunnels, we rode the downtown.
You got off on 3rd, leaving me hauling
this vintage of books and the harvest
of veggies we bought at that fair, plus
you took my umbrella.
Leaning in for a kiss, I brushed back
with a hand gesture, and knew the
first date, would not have a follow up.
Betty’s dirty martini
Her last months, plagued with pain,
tubes all in ties, and a myriad’s
maladies, Betty, next door, now in
hospice, whispers she’s ‘ready’.
Requesting a couple of beach days,
80 degrees, no wind, no clouds, sitting
on shoreline with a dirty martini.
“Please water the lilacs on our mutual
“ and feed all the strays that frequent the
She says she will signal when she arrives
there, wherever ‘there’ is, with three
yellow leaves on my porch steps.
The power of knitting
“Knit one, pearl two,” she clicked
on the needles in repetitive rhythm
and rhapsody, making those sweaters,
afghans and baby booties.
When her hands grew arthritic and
eyes clouded over, she vowed to
to complete all her knitting, before
her condition would doom her.
You had your first child. He went
home in a blue and white cable stitch.
I watched as you wrapped him in
Grandma Kate’s blanket.
That super cone on the marquise
Pop says it’s the last time. It’s a three
hour drive and they don’t need the
aggravation. Mom says to ignore
Uncle Bob; she visits to see Aunt Lenora.
They’re fighting up front, while me
and the skinny sis are ignoring each
other, with not much in common, ’til
the big wheels roll by and we make
silly faces at them, unbeknown to her
in a couple of years, we’ll we winking
Dad pulls in for custard; a big super cone
on the marquise, shouting in silver
Back in the car, the sis and I snicker,
knowing too well, we’ll all be right back
here again, in four or five Saturdays.
Letting go of the broom
It’s the third time it happened.
I spilled orange juice on her
cherrywood floor, and she said
not a word.
No sponge, no frenzied mop,
no berating me to be careful.
Before that, I left fingerprints
on her grandmother’s mirror.
I looked at my mom; she’s missing
some beats, for the last month or so.
Six months before, she’s be on her
knees, on the floor, scrubbing it silly
with her tonic of brillo, bonami and
As it starts to sink in; she’s moving
away from herself, as the years stop
defying and become the conventional.
And maybe she is, but I’m not quite
ready, to let go of that image of her
and her pail full of prowess.
When not writing poetry, Emalisa Rose enjoys crafting and drawing. She volunteers in animal rescue, and tends to a cat colony in the neighborhood. She lives by a beach town, which provides much of the inspiration for her art. Some of her poems have appeared in Writing in a Woman’s Voice, Spillwords, Origami Poem Project, and other special places. Her latest collection is On the whims of the crosscurrents, published by Red Wolf Editions.