If Only
by Marcel A. Duclos

Oh, the catastrophe that afternoon.

The quiet of our country cabin,
the quail flabbergasted,
eyes x-raying the shadowed path
while in the loft, the windsock flailing,
you surprise me, cheeks blushed,
nothing but that leather vest,
the very sight of you.

Your birthday gift to me,
I wrote in my diary.

And the roof of the cabin hid it all
just as I rose upstairs for the occasion.

I know it makes for an unspoken memory
that evening we nuzzled,
thunder quickening our hearts.

I sensed your zest for more
would never last the year.
You could not stay in place.

You wrote that asking you
to marry me was the catastrophe,
not the collapsed hammock.

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