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Red Head
Charles P. Ries



I have a girl friend, she’s 40 years older than me.
We say it’s unfair to have met when age and polio
have left her youthfulness behind. When I am with
her, being is like breathing and long silences are as
productive as two hour conversations. Love often
finds us this way -
            Right person, wrong place
            Wrong time, right person       
            Right woman, near death
She told me that when I am 75, I’ll realize how everything
only gets worse. When the ones you love die, new ones no
longer take their place. But I tell her she’s wrong.
Life dealt us its cruel card. We won’t be jumping into 
flaming beds with the passion of young bodies. Rather,
I will roll her wheel chair or lift her off the ground when
she topples over. I will be happy to hold her in my heart
as a perfect moment when love blew through the right
window at the wrong time.


This poem first appeared in Free Verse in 2004. 
From Girl Friend & Other Mysteries of Love (Propaganda Press 2013).
Used with the author's permission.





Charles P. Ries lives in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. His narrative poems, short stories, interviews, and poetry reviews have appeared in more than 200 print and electronic publications, and he is the author of a fictional memoir and six books of poetry. He is a former poetry editor for several publications and served on the Wisconsin Poet Laureate Commission.



Post New Comment:
Beautiful story about real sometimes crazy life.
Posted 09/29/2014 08:27 PM
Amazing how love leaps over barriers.
Posted 09/26/2014 07:43 PM
Lovely, Charles.
Posted 09/25/2014 10:52 PM
As a wheelchair-bound writer, I find this immensely powerful from beginning to end.
Posted 09/25/2014 02:27 PM
Wow!What a magnificent last sentence. Thank you for this gorgeous sentiment!
Posted 09/25/2014 11:03 AM
Jean Colonomos-1:
Jean: A hit on my hit parade. Thank you.
Posted 09/25/2014 09:40 AM
Yes, this poem is full of hope.
Posted 09/25/2014 09:26 AM
I am with rlmanchester. That is a perfect, perfect line. The entire poem did a fantastic job of touching my life with a bittersweet experience I had never considered. It blew me away!
Posted 09/25/2014 08:36 AM
How lovely!
Posted 09/25/2014 08:06 AM
We never know how much we might mean to another. This poem is full of hope.
Posted 09/25/2014 06:41 AM
"when love blew through the right window at the wrong time"....what a perfect, perfect line!
Posted 09/25/2014 04:00 AM
I read this as I was watching a most beautiful sunrise. It seemed a wonderful combination. This is the most touching poem I can ever remember reading.
Posted 09/25/2014 12:58 AM
~~~I relate to many aspects of this poem! Found it deeply moving.
Posted 09/24/2014 11:31 PM
Very moving...
Posted 09/24/2014 11:15 PM

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