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

The Wedding

Azure blue sky outlines palm fronds
As they sway high above martinis
By the side of a crystal clear pool
Occupied by blow-up floats

A maid scurries to and fro
Bringing baskets of white roses
And Baby’s Breath to carry
Down a makeshift aisle

Folded chairs await the curious
Who are lucky to hold a ticket
To observe life’s challenges
On this day of reconciliation

A woman in pink pins a corsage
To a gray suit who stands in silence
Reliving a past of lost memories
And forgotten times from his youth

Spirits and champagne remain
Uncorked until the precise moment
When a union is celebrated
And the new pair adorned

Two by two, sometimes three,
The hats arrive, clucking as they go
Finding fault with the tartness
Of the Fish House Punch

A string quartet sounds a chord
Of harmony to break
The silence of a dull afternoon
That consumes onlookers

Girls in purple gauze and ribbons
Giggle at one another as they await
A march that seems unspoken
To all but a few

The planners huddle under parasols
Or large branches painting shade
Upon steamy sidewalks and tiles
That guide guests to their seats

Beads of fear dot the temples
Of the man about to be wed
His awkward jacket wrinkled
From age and history untold

A friend by his side whispers
Encouraging words as patrons watch
His future about to begin
In a borrowed black suit

The choreography of the dance
Is enough to bring tears to all
Who dare to witness this day
Of hummingbirds and vows

A veil of white appears
Surrounding a belly filled with life
Beyond reach of happiness
And a pair of satin shoes.

–Victoria Emmons, © 2014

Destiny

“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

One Ticket

Is enough
Two too many
To find a date
To wait and wait
For him to state
His intentions

One lonely ticket
Two far gone
To hear a sound
Of my past life
With my old man
His favorite song

One is okay
Not two or three
Or even four
Just one
One lonely life
To hear the score

Of violins and
Saxophone dreams
A piano note or two
Blend the cacophony
Of life together
With a single tune

–Victoria Emmons, © 2013

My Every Breath

Take it away
My every breath
Never to return

You gave me life
Deepest hope
Beautiful laughter

Those words you sent
In a tiny box
Magnified our love

We were sixteen
Or so it felt
For a while

The many years
Months, days
And hours

Became nothing
More than minutes
Counting morphine

–Victoria Emmons ©2011

X-Factor

X-tra careful, mate

She is the X

The mate who may strike

With sharp fangs and claws

 

She is the X

X marks the spot

Where horror and lies abide

And a heart full of pain resides

 

X marks the spot

For life changing ways

To clutter your brain forever

And drive you to the grave

 

For life changing ways

She’ll kill your desire

To function as normal and nice

Amidst the clatter of life’s pain

 

She’ll kill your desire

To have another

Or ever be superman again

If you don’t watch out for her

 

To have another

And you will some day

Life must be good and pure

Honor rule the day

 

To have another

Simply pray

 

–Victoria Emmons, 2013