Fifteen Minutes ’til Midnight

In fifteen minutes you and I will turn thirty.
That long ago, so much time vanished.
Fifteen minutes disappearing like thirty years.
At midnight, all those years will have passed.

That day we met, we cued up for good reason.
A boat too full let us laugh together instead,
share a beer at the hotel bar,
become friends and lovers for life.

Ten minutes remain until thirty years arrive.
We can soon celebrate a milestone,
worth a bottle of your best champagne.
Bubbles make me laugh. So do you.

I hear your laughter ring in my head. Yet
how heavy it seems. I carry that laughter with me.
Its joy and its burden. A love that will not end.
A memory that will not cease to exist.

Five more minutes and our thirty-year anniversary
becomes real. Aunt Wilma said thirties were the
best years. Best for everything. Her wisdom stays
with me. But after thirty years, a void appears.

Not the same without you, my love, despite the hour.
Remember our anniversary, my calendar tells me.
It is now done. Check you off my to-do list.
I remembered. No one else did.  

–Victoria Emmons, 16 May 2017

Bones in my Bed

Soft whimpers break the
silence of my room,
the only sound beyond your
breathing, the rhythm of
your chest undulating like
an ocean wave.

My toes find their way
under the sheets,
rearranging blankets
and a slippery bedspread
always askew.

Aches that appear only
at night rise up as
twists and turns remind
me of my sixth decade.

You are there, as my friend
forever loyal, cluttering
my bed with your bones.

–Victoria Emmons, 2017


Sweaters too large conceal self-control
About to deteriorate into a pool of blood
Razor sharp threats pierce the softness
Barking orders to run and hide away

Run and hide away while you watch
From a distance, your height in charge
Of keeping calm and stone-faced despite
A crumbling world of madmen and goons

Madmen and goons shake the very core
Of what is goodness, charity, love, hope
As flagrant lies begin to believe themselves
Cherish false words, worship a dead horse

Worship a dead horse to make a fake point
About being serious enough to die together
End everything and everyone before it’s time
Because your life and mine is nothing but rhyme

—Victoria Emmons © 2015


For nearly 30 years, I’ve been seeing the same optometrist. Well, not exactly the same doctor every time because there are several optometrists in one office. Sometimes I would see Dr. T. Other times Dr. C. The ladies at the reception desk were always efficient and friendly. I don’t recall any of them ever leaving in all these years. They just age, like me. I stayed with these eye doctors even after I moved out of town. I would trudge through commute traffic back to my old neighborhood to get my eyes examined or buy contact lenses. I liked my physicians and the service they provided. When I moved even farther away, I debated whether I should switch to a new physician who was closer to home. I still didn’t change. I continued to drive back over the hill for my doctor, even though it was very inconvenient.

So for three decades, I have been very loyal to my eye doctor. Do you think my doctor was loyal to me?

My insurance just changed to a new plan. When I asked my doctor’s office staff if they accepted the new plan, they said no. The staff was kind and said they would suggest to the doctors that they consider applying for the new plan. I was happy. When I called back to see if that had been done, they told me the doctors had decided not to accept my new plan. It’s not as though the plan is a poor one. It pays quite well compared to others. Adding a new plan was just too inconvenient for them, I suppose.

So where has loyalty gotten me? I was loyal to my physicians all those years. They were not willing to return the same courtesy. I will remember that in the future, doctors, and will simply change on a dime, kicking you out of my life whenever I feel like it.

–Victoria Emmons ©2014


“I don’t like sleep,” Ken announced when Myrna mentioned that he looked tired.

“Why not?” she asked.

“In sleep, you are losing control over your destiny,” he said.

Myrna’s brow furrowed as she chopped carrots on the kitchen cutting board. “What control do you really have over your destiny?” she countered. “Isn’t that the very definition of destiny? Something over which you have no control?”

He continued to change channels on the television, creating a series of rapid screen shots depicting golf, football or soccer. His thumb moved with confidence as he commanded the machine to locate his favorite shows.

“It happens to you,” she said, competing with the blunt sound of her knife slicing through raw vegetables. “You don’t make it happen. You accept it, manage it, deal with it, maneuver it; but you don’t really control it. Destiny controls you.”

Ken stopped at ESPN to listen to Michigan’s latest football score, then groaned as he changed back to a PGA tournament in midstream.

“You may think you are in control,” she said. “But there are other factions that come into play in life.”

Myrna slipped behind the bar and poured lemon-flavored Grey Goose® Vodka and Vermouth into a shaker, added ice cubes and began to mix. She opened the small refrigerator door under the bar and retrieved a jar of Spanish olives. Two martini glasses filled with dust required washing. She dried them with her starched apron and set them down on the bar. The martini mixture flowed into each goblet. She stabbed six olives onto two skewers and added one skewer to each glass. She carried the martinis over to the coffee table and set them down next to him along with a blue cloth cocktail napkin that he ignored.

“Yes, we make decisions about any number of twists and turns that life presents us,” Myrna continued. “We can choose to go left, turn right or continue straight ahead. But destiny will find us.”

“Damn, that green is a fuckin’ mess,” he said grabbing the stem of the martini glass and taking a sip, never diverting his gaze from the oversized television screen on their wall. “How do they expect those guys to putt on that crap?”

She had told him once in a former decade that he was her destiny. She now had second thoughts.

–From the novel in progress titled “Dinner Party” by Victoria Emmons, © 2014

White Horse

Rescue me, mon ami,
from the debris of life
save me from the
threads that weave
my heart to yours

I need saving now and then
my head is tired and
my body aches for you
to save me some day
on your white horse

I’m not your Fairy Godmother
flying in and out of your life
to save you from yourself
I carry no magic wand
to make it all better

I can only offer one gift
my eternal love for you
wretched soul that you are
so rescue me, mon amour,
save me from myself

–by Victoria Emmons, © 2014

Open Doors for Baudelaire

BaudelaireI will not be ruled by my cat. No more is he allowed to curl up in the warmth of my lap. No longer is he invited to live under my roof. I brought him home five years ago when he only seven weeks old. The cute, little champagne kitten stood out from the rest of the litter in the cage that day. I only needed one kitten. That’s all. But the volunteer with the pet shelter convinced me I should have a pair. This kitten would need a playmate, she advised.

I have had cats for over half a century. I know all about cats. Or so I thought. I did know the volunteer’s suggestion had merit. Kittens like to play with one another, especially when I am off at work and they would be otherwise all alone. Having a playmate helps keep them from climbing curtains, scratching furniture and other untoward behavior.

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The Saturday morning market attracted the usual crowd eager for organic vegetables and people watching. My shopping bag was heavy with zucchini, golden beets, white corn, a potato or two, and a paper bag of Cremini mushrooms. The farmer’s market is the best place to buy fig vinegar and some of Sister Sarah’s homemade canned tomatoes. I couldn’t take home much else. Or so I thought. Continue reading