And, if I could, I’d sing my love with unicorns in chains of flowers,
With endless oceans greyly battering by misty moors,
With joyful hunting dogs with muddy paws,
With soft spring showers –
With anything eternal, wistful, happy, sad.
But all my dogs inside are snapping, yapping, mad,
My showers are wintry, my sea-shores are lined
With unkind tourists drinking bourbon,
And unicorns are dead, and flowers suburban.
And, if I could, I’d steal my love on midnight horse and overseas,
To city-sacking buccaneering round the reckless earth,
Settle at last to farm some quiet firth:
Goats, orchards, bees;
Explosive starts, wild-beating hearts, and peace at last.
But ungeared fantasies spin lies torn from the past:
I’m a slum-quarter city-sprouting weed,
My planted seeds die in deserted gardens,
My wandering’s my weak will; and my heart hardens.
And, if I could, I’d love my love with wayside flowers, fresh fruit, a kiss,
With secondhand-in-hand shops’ dazzling, puzzling oddities,
With evening at the theater or a fair,
With wordless stare,
With dreams and smiles, and laughter at my foolishness.
But all my city streets are drizzle and drains, not bliss;
Traipsing to shows and shops is soul-destroying,
And, toying with my rural lie,
Commitment-scared, I flee the searching Eye.
And, if I could, I’d give my love all children, chosen and our own:
Their love – their moody silences – their smiles like wind and sun –
Their seashell searching – riots – sense of fun –
Pregnant to grown
We’d share kaleidoscope Life’s spectrum-brilliant rays.
But I drift unfamiliar down decaying days
Where trees are concrete and the ground is stone,
Bemoan I knew but left that love…
And, if I could, you know I’d have my love.
This is a poem from my 20s, when I was more skilled at the creation of nonce forms. Formal poetry was essentially unpublishable at the time; decades later, this poem has just been published in David Stephenson’s Pulsebeat Poetry Journal.
“File:Philadelphia Flower Show 2011 Unicorn of flowers HPIM4354.jpg” by Mary Mark Ockerbloom is licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0.