Umbrella’s lighter offshoot


by Richard Wakefield

I’ve promenaded, jaded, with the peerage
and hunkered with the huddled hordes in steerage,
cavorted with a pauper on the commons,
essayed the Kama Sutra with the Brahmins,
       but your insistence made me twist
       in ways I didn’t know exist.

I’ve kissed a sweet contessa and been naughty
in novel postures in her Maserati,
contorted with a lady strudel maker
like gluey noodles in her Studebaker,
       but both of them lost their appeal
       when you made my tires squeal.

I’ve wooed a pretty princess in her palace
and plundered Wonderland pursuing Alice;
I’ve played scenes with an undiscovered actress,
bestowed endowments with a benefactress,
       but now I find I’m redesigned
       above, below, before, behind.

I’ve done gymnastics underneath the bleachers
between a pair of women’s PE teachers;
I could-could with a comely can-can dancer
and did-did with a handy chiromancer,
       but never have I cha-cha-cha’d
       or rumba’d quite like this, great God!

Richard Wakefield
's collection  East of Early Winters  (University of Evansville Press) was the 2006 winner of the Richard Wilbur Award.  His poems and essays have appeared in American Literature, Sewanee Review, Midwest Quarterly, Light Quarterly and many others.