Poets & Storytellers United
February 3, 2020
It was a slim, blue volume of poems by my favorite 1950’s author, Don Blanding, found one afternoon in a used book store. Once home I settled into my easy chair with a glass of wine beside me, prepared to savor the work of this vagabond poet whose words never failed to capture me. Between the pages I was surprised to find pressed the delicate petals of a single gardenia.
Who put it there? I mused. I lifted it to see the title of the poem below. “To a Lady I Loved”,
a brief story of a friendship spoiled by romance, ending with the line “I liked you so much better when you were just my friend.” How I wished the gardenia could speak and tell me of the lady who loved the poet, and where it all went wrong. I turned the pages and read on….but I left the gardenia where I was sure it belonged, with the secrets it held.