Ron McFarland: "Vaulting Ambition"




Our long-dark-haired

fair-skinned receptionist

who likes to be called “administrative

assistant” has fallen headfirst

from her rain-slippery porch

landing full-face in her landlady’s

favorite bed of geraniums.


Our long-dark-haired

fair-skinned receptionist

may or may not also have fallen

in love with someone or other of whom

neither her proud father or doting mother

would approve, some manly character


maybe out of John Donne’s elegies,

that clever lover wearing the loud

cologne perhaps, a seventeenth-century

version of Old Spice or English Leather

let’s say, or maybe the guy

who wanted to license his roving hands.


But after all, life doesn’t work

that often like erotic verse.

Alas, our long-dark-haired

fair-skinned receptionist

loves only her job, she says, and us.

And so today we’re passing the metaphorical

hat to pay for a large uncrushed geranium.



Ron McFarland teaches literature and creative writing at the University of Idaho. Pecan Grove Press recently released his fourth full-length collection of poetry, Subtle Thieves.