Ruby Roses, Kiss Goodbye
You, who saved me from hardening,
let me not harden now
but walk into the world, disarmed
yet escorted by these emissaries:
two ruby rose earrings, in echo
of years ago, when I passed my hand,
arm brushing my ear as I sobbed,
back to you, behind me in your chair
with your notes, glasses and clock.
You took my hand and brushed
my hair over my temple.
After each hour I always bought
some little thing. Today those earrings
— two ruby rose hard things
remind me not to harden.
Let me feel naked without them.
Published online December 17 2014.
Molly Peacock is a widely anthologized poet and biographer. Her most recent collection of poems is The Second Blush and her latest nonfiction is The Paper Garden: Mrs. Delany Begins Her Life’s Work at 72. Forthcoming is Alphabetique: 26 Characteristic Fictions with illustrations by Kara Kosaka. She is Series Editor of The Best Canadian Poetry. Jason Guriel holds her poetry under his microscope in Molly Peacock: A Critical Introduction.