Diminishing Returns

by C.B. Anderson

Almost every day conventional romances
gasp and gutter like spent candles placed in sconces
tended by old saintly women lost in trances,
and it's easy to forget that all he wants is
just a chance to seem a bit too young and eager,
knowing all the while at least one half the battle
turns on getting by with scanty funds of meager
charm, or what amounts to superficial prattle.

Men are at a disadvantage when it comes to
managing exchanges such as this because she
always has the upper hand and turns the thumbscrew
any time the slightest little mention does he
make of how the willingness she showed in other
times (before the wedding) went a whole lot deeper
than the circumspection counseled by her mother
(long before he wondered whether he should keep her).

© 2007 by C.B. Anderson



C.B. Anderson was the longtime gardener for the PBS television series, The Victory Garden. Many scores of his poems have appeared in dozens of print and electronic journals. His e-chapbook, A Walk in the Dark, can be read on the website of The New Formalist Press.


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