Helen Marie Gunz; and Me
OK, the first part’s fairly easy; I’ve read H.G. Wells
years ago. With what’s in my kitchen, and
my workshop, whipping up a time machine is,
today, less difficult than cheffing the maple
syrup chocolate cake I want to take as provisions,
lest an errant lever lead me to Genghis Khan,
and I need to make a peace offering.
As usual, though, my honesty could do with a good
scrub. The first, first part was exquisitely hard.
The Smithsonian Institution’s photostream is way
better than eHarmony ever was, but when my
gaze finally found Helen Marie (“may I call you
Helen Marie,” I practise, while the cake cooks)
I knew I was looking at the perfect one for me.
An Assistant Librarian, no less. The bibliophile
in me already waltzes with you, past dusty volumes
of Waldo, and Emily, and Walt. You were, I am
sure, the quiet, yet driving force behind the
scenes, much as Al was, before all that
environmental bull gored him. Yea, before
you, sweet Helen Marie, there have been a few,
I have loved, and lost, but now your smile
reduces those before to bitter-sweet oblivion,
which reminds me, did I put enough lime juice
in the mix? But what, arguably, moves me most,
from Townsville 2011 to New York 1955, is, yes,
the trace of impish humour I discern in those
wondrous eyes. Was Marlon, or James, doing
it for you? Somehow I hope not, for I wish us
to be cleaved by P.G. Wodehouse over dinner,
and yes, darling – oh how my heart pre-
maturely aches! – I yearn that it be me, me
alone, forever more, who unties your ribbon.
This poem must end now, for fear of carnality,
we both will be as the angels: let us marry anyway!
* * * * *
This poem is one in a series of works inspired by the Smithsonian Institution’s photo archive, made publicly available on Flickr. If you would like to, choose an image from their collection and create something – be it prose, poetry, audio, or visual art – inspired by it, and send it to snakeoilcure [at] gmail [dot] com.