I Never Promised You A Rose Garden, Harold Said

Think this:
I never promised you a rose garden.
Oh yea it’d be a bed of thorns.
If that was what marriage promised
would anyone have said, masochistically,
yes? Of course not.
Because your lens isn’t rust-colored,
so what you saw was anything but
grayness; you saw cooing noises,
you saw almost pink faces and
letting out of joyful shrieks.

Harold said, we got married on
the seventh of July, 1951.
It was the happiest day.
Relatives and friends attended
though it wasn’t a grand affair.
They had their wedding mass at
St Joseph’s Church, at 8am.
Thereafter a small reception, with
cake and wine, at Rangoon Road.
Then a child, who got sickly,
and died. Harold sunk into debt.

He borrowed from the moneylenders
with heavy interest. Into despair!
His wife, Josephine, became ill
with tuberculosis. Meanwhile Harold was
balancing work, doing the ledgers,
and learning to type. His friend,
Anthony Phoon, would give him
small treats to lunch and coffee.
And Harold balanced the books,
so the auditors were pleased.
Soon a girl, their second child. 

Prompt: So tis the last day of submission. I’m sorry guys, if your poems weren’t selected. Don’t stop trying. Your poem’s got to move me in different, sometimes unexpected ways. Who said writing poems would be easy? But there’ll be a new issue coming up shortly, so you’ll still be able to submit if you wish. Whatever it is, if you’re a poet, you get to live a creative life, which isn’t quite what ordinary folks get up to. Other folks get creative in other ways of course. Dance for instance. Whatever you do get into the groove. Then you’d be happy. Meanwhile I’ve got to get changed and go for a musical. That makes me happy. Write a poem about what makes you happy.


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