Rose Mary Boehm
1967. Second of December, a suburb
of London; I didn’t even have a bouquet.
We were so hip. No bouquet for me, no job for you.
I managed. ‘Anything an English person can’t do’.
Languages. What else…
You signed, I signed, my boss threw a party for the newlyweds.
Miniskirts, long hair, square-heeled white boots,
a bunch of the well-known names they would become
in the seventies. There was Simon, the photographer.
You were happy like a puppy dog and equally as confused.
From the pet shop you got me a poinsettia and we cut of one ‘star’.
I held it awkwardly.
The book in which I dried it went into the skip
when you had to sell the house.
The beginning of a family, love and endless mistakes.
Your first job. I should have known
when you squeezed Ruby’s nipples.
She wore a scarf to protect her beehive
Bavaria 1962. The Cinquecento
can’t do much more than 60.
Open top, it takes the bends at speed.
My friend wears her tight, sky-blue ski pants,
her black wrap-around top
which leaves little to the imagination,
black come-fuck-me shoes and a light-weight scarf
(covered with what looks like shimmering
fish scales) on hair piled high.
The boys sitting on the fence
under dark green shade look in from above
and whistle as we pass.
We’re just driving.
It’s summer at Lake Starnberg.
We are rounding the lake.
Blue air makes us dizzy.
Car fumes smell of holidays
and Mediterranean nights.
At the lake-side café an older man,
wearing large sunglasses, a gold watch,
a diamond(?) on his left pinky,
white shirt and wide, beige trousers,
inevitably asks whether he may join us.
It was the time of Hey Jude
The man I’d married became the assistant
to the famous film director who was in pre-production
for a film that would never get made.
The man I’d married was from Norff London,
not even Cockney but, still, common as dirt, as they proudly
say, exceedingly intelligent (a joy) and a killer
sense of humor (a revelation).
He had a complicated name.
Cypriot, not even Greek. Mine now.
While I was so pregnant, I couldn’t see my shoes,
we lived for the duration in the gamekeeper’s cottage
of the famous romance writer (vaguely related to royalty).
If ever a bosom was heaving, it was hers. Blue
eye shadow, fake lashes, and fake posh.
How could she accept plebes like this in her cottage?
Hubs introduced himself. The famous romance writer
extended her hand graciously and smiled,
‘Oh, White Russian, delighted.’
Enlightenment in the Parking Lot
You curl up in the corner of the washroom
without concern about the urine on the floor
and you hear hot voices and cool riffs
leave through the door of the village barn
where they celebrate your getting hitched
to husband number three. While you were pensive
and wondered, he stumbled drunk
into your best friend holding on to her tits
to soften his fall. You lick salt and hug yourself
not caring about the bruises, then you lift
yourself, slowly, because your body is heavy,
and you walk out unseen through the back entrance.
You kick off your heels, your head clears some
and when you get to the parking lot
you’re not sure where you’ll be driving,
but you know you won’t die again.
Rose Mary Boehm is a German-born British national living and writing in Lima, Peru. Her poetry has been published widely in mostly US poetry reviews (online and print). She was twice nominated for a Pushcart. Her fourth poetry collection, The Rain Girl, was published by Chaffinch Press in 2020.