What moved you earlier today to bring
these peppers from the kitchen to my desk?
The crumpled ambers past remembering
and wilted reds. This harrowing grotesque
and nature morte that cluttered through our fall.
Was it the pressure of the holidays,
your hectic preparations that consume
a month? Whose judgment of what stays
consigns memento mori to my room?
Ignominy. The sheer effrontery of it all!
And not a word! A motherly reproof
so unbecoming of a wife, this slap
with no report but elegance and truth.
I am the husband, now, of husks. All sap
and luster have been cracked to dust and gall.
A note on the form: “The poem is written in a nonce form that I call a Gripe. It is a 15-line sonnet variation, based on the Elizabethan, where the closing couplet is replaced by a dispersed triplet, a C rhyme line after each quatrain. The theme of a Gripe is that of a complaint or a recognition of ultimate loss.” ~RM