To Caligula, from His Horse (in Sapphics)

All the smug revisionists point it out now;
quick to claim as fallacy a warmth they can’t grasp.
True, our love remained an un-consummated 
partnership. Granted.

Mounting me was still an unbridled pleasure:
Please concede as much as that, won’t you? Don’t you?
Unexpected though it is, haven’t stranger
unions existed?

Can’t you see I’m down-trodden? Can you blame me?
You’re the one that broke me, as you’ll recall. You
claimed yourself as Jupiter, though Poseidon
rightfully owned me.

Dozens through antiquity beamed with beauty
marked by features typified as equine-like.
Haven’t I surpassed the attractiveness of
these in my manner?

Flames of lust will dwindle and die, but ours was
plodding love, authentic and true. It’s sure to
last beyond the lesser alliance that a
romance can offer.

Maternal Charades (poem)

(by Daniel R. Jones)

I walked in on my wife
playing charades.
Our children didn’t know
they were part of the game.
Some days, she didn’t know either.

TWO WORDS

Rubbing together two needles
like the legs of a cricket,
she conjures hats, scarves,
amigurumi monsters
the children take to bed.

FIRST WORD: MATERNAL

If I squint it looks like ritual,
the tedium of bedtime routine:
overnight diaper, dinosaur jammies
read two books and brush your teeth.
Boys to the bunkbeds, girl to the crib.

SECOND WORD: LOVE

Golden curls encircle
lavender bubbles;
soap-soaked fur of a
labrador doodle.
This is love by proxy.

Care for the children
through care for the dog
bought for them to care for.
A pantomime, an acting out
of the second word.

MATERNAL LOVE

This motherhood is a lifelong game of charades.
The children have an inkling, I think,
that the swabbing of walls stained with crayon,
and the meticulous slicing of hotdogs
is pantomime, a charade of that larger abstraction.

The clues are there and the message pans out.
But they never do understand the scope,
the magnitude of what’s being hinted at.
Even as a parent myself, I suppose,
I never plumb the depths entirely.