Only then did he enter.
He carried a sack of frozen veggies, a pack of Marlboros,
And bouquet of wildflower filched from a neighboring yard
Tied with a purple string.
“For your injured eye, your vice, and your perfection.”
Boyishly shy, unsure of whether this was proper etiquette,
He handed them to the damsel he wanted to love.
A command performance, meeting the beauty’s
Guardian, showing his respect without presumption or haste,
While aching to hold her, kiss her, carry her away
With all the romance he had never learned
In ivied halls.
Her freckles, hers alone, and Cinderella feet,
Meant to be caressed, made joyful after too
Much work for so small a maiden.
If only he could, in that moment break all ties,
Have a steed to mount and a castle of his own to which
He would do it.
Instead he retreated.
She too much a Muse for him
Could only smile, hope, and wish
Someday they would recall
Frozen green beans, cigarettes,
and purloined posies, together.