My Bannered Rose – a poem by Darrell Petska

My Bannered Rose

Love is my bowl of cereal
my boarding pass
my ruler and my nemesis

no no no love is granddaughter’s
dollies, trips to the dollar store,
disarray and peanut butter

love predates dinosaurs
shines from the heavens
dog paddles through muck

love loves beginnings, endings,
in-betweens, love loves hate,
dirty laundry, tawdry sentiment

I praise love, indict love,
throw love under the bus,
deny love its name

yes yes yes I say to love
that fries me in its skillet,
entombs me in its snows

you are my plum, my freight,
my bannered rose,
yet I’ll grant you no credence

and gnaw at your bones
should something better 
even than you come along.

Darrell Petska is a retired university engineering editor and a 2021 Pushcart Prize nominee. His writing has appeared in Amethyst Review, Soul-Lit, 3rd Wednesday Magazine, Buddhist Poetry Review, Verse-Virtual, and widely elsewhere ( A father of five and grandfather of six, he lives near Madison, Wisconsin, with his wife of more than 50 years.

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