The Coil
Published in

The Coil


Poem by Charles P. Ries

I have a girlfriend; she’s 40 years older than I.
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 wheelchair 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.

CHARLES P. RIES lives in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. His work has appeared in over 200 publications and is archived at Marquette University. He has received five Pushcart Prize nominations and is the author of The Fathers We Find, a memoir, and six books of poetry, including Girl Friend & Other Mysteries of Love. This piece was a finalist in the 2013 Luminiare Award for Best Poetry.



Literature to change your lightbulb.

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The Coil

The Coil

Indie press dedicated to lit that challenges readers & has a sense of self, timelessness, & atmosphere. Publisher of @CoilMag #CoilMag (