Jonathan Elliot, Two Poems

Wild Goose Poetry Review, No 33, Fall 2017


There are rarely wedding cakes
for second marriages.
There’s more the “Let’s get on with this,
and hope we’ll make good what we couldn’t
with the other spouse.”

“We’re no virgins to this,” I said
to my wife-to-be days before we wed.
She nodded, agreed this was an
experiment, her parents relieved
she was going to marry someone
with a full set of teeth.
“Besides,” she said, “they think
you’re clever.”
I said she had a nice body
and hoped she remained trim,
at least until our fifties, me

thirty-six, she thirty-four.
“Fair enough,” she said. “But
you’re sporting a small paunch.
I would expect you to get rid of it.”
When it came time, the Justice
of the Peace read: “Do you take this man…”

“Of course I do,” she said.
“Let’s get on with it.”
“Do you take this woman….”
“Ditto what she said,” I said.
After the vows and a cup of Joe
in a coffee shop, we’ve come to know
the other, inside out, for more than thirty years.

Not so long ago while on a tour,
at dinner with a couple older than us,
I sat feeling the ocean breeze,
watching wave after wave come to shore.

“He used to be handsome,” my wife said to them.
I grinned and learned long ago when to soldier on,
when to just watch the waves come in.




I light a cigarette
and watch the smoke
turn playfully into a quiet tune.
I want to sing it,
but it is gone
lost in the silence
of an empty room.

BIO: Jonathan Elliot has recently taken a number of non-credit courses under Tony Abbott and received an Honorary Mention as an emerging poet in West Virginia Writers Group’s Spring 2017 contest. He has published several poems in VCU’s literary magazine as a student, as well as publishing in Bitterroot, a NY poetry publication. He attended the U. of Oregon’s MFA program, taught English Composition at Purdue U. as a graduate student, and published an essay in Dance to the Music of Story, edited by David Boje, Professor at New Mexico State University.

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