Roxanne Zusmer

The White Satin Dress

It was an argument over nothing, really, that escalated to a point of
no going back. She marched to the bedroom, washed her face,
dolled-up her make-up theater style, then slipped on the white satin
dress she had bought for special occasions, a reminder of her
wedding gown so recently put away in mothballs. After strapping
on her black high heels, she put them to use by stomping past him.
He didn’t respond. Just stayed there slumped on the couch. The
dance hall packed with 3 D’s: drinking, dancing, denial – and she
became one of them. Downing a Blue Moon, she flipped her new-
found attitude and joined in. Was not but three hours later that she
realized maybe it was go-home time. Wasn’t so cocky now. A bit
nervous. Jittery, actually. Would he still be there? Would the ring
still be on his finger? Did she take it too far? Lit a cigarette on the
porch steps, then quietly slid through the front door. Tip-toed down
the hall to the living room. There he was …sitting in the same
slumped position on the couch. She sat beside him, put her head on
his shoulder, and buried herself in familiar smells. His face
remained as it had been, turned away from her, as she hid in his
long curling hair. He felt cold to her touch. Flicked her ashes and
waited. I love you.

Roxanne Zusmer

Like Soldiers Standing In A Row

The flowers stretched from head to toe
Like soldiers standing in a row
Awakened from the starry night
All gently swaying to and fro
Their faces turned toward morning's light

They knew no time like long ago
They could not see their future plight
Like soldiers standing in a row
Awakened from the starry night

They did not have the voice to crow
They seemed to whisper, but not quite
Yet there they stood, their fullest height
The flowers stretched from head to toe.

Roxanne Zusmer

I'm A Little Girl in Grown-up Shoes

I remember the days of skipping ropes
Of diaries filled with dreams and hopes
The yesterdays are hard to lose
I'm a little girl in grown-up shoes.
I remember the giggles that we shared
The ties we filled with things we dared
We'd spend our moments as we'd choose
I'm a little girl in grown-up shoes.
The time's gone by, the years have passed
The carefree days have flown so fast
But memories linger, colored hues
I'm a little girl in grow-up shoes.
I like hop-scotch and candy canes
Splashing in puddles when it rains
Living the carefree life I choose
I'm a little girl in grown-up shoes.

Roxanne Zusmer


I stop in the hallways of the school
where I counsel children.
Like a hound dog, I pause and sniff –
Taking in the aroma of fresh popped popcorn,
I change direction and find the source.

I walk past the movie theater and halt –
The aroma of fresh popped popcorn
draws me in.

I sit, eyes glued to the TV
A bowl of popcorn in my lap –
calm, contented, tranquilized.

Visions of afternoons, a teenager
home from school –
I wander next door to my neighbor, Mrs. Dollar.
As I perch on her kitchen stool,
she takes out a wire popper and pops the kernels
shaking the basket
back and forth.
We sit and talk.

Any time, any place
the scent of popcorn
fills the air
bringing back memories
of refuge
in that safe space
in the kitchen
of my neighbor
next door
so long ago.

Roxanne Zusmer

Ode to an Artichoke

Who took my heart?
Stole it right from under my eyes.
Beneath the leaves of steamy green
One by one, marked by two front teeth,
Dipped in melted butter,
Lavished by lips, tongue.

Who filched my heart?
Vanished it from my sight.
Blundering fool!
Taken from the center of the sphere
Discarded thistles threaten with sharpened spikes.
I offer no mercy; I will fight to the end.

Who pilfered my heart?
Robbed and blind-sided me.
Presumptuous fool!
I’ve made my vows
I shall not relinquish
This heart of mine.

Roxanne Zusmer

Trees of Green and Gold

Trees of green and gold
when sunshine lights upon them,
clouds of white
and graceful birds that fly beyond them,
blue-green waters
running, churning wild and free,
the wonder and the vastness
of it all embraces me.

Roxanne Zusmer

When I Am With You

I love what I am when I am with you –
free to be me, who I am and what I am.

I am happy with myself –
but even happier when I can share that happiness with you.

You are strong and sure – so am I
yet still we gather strength from one another.

Our time and place is now – we live and laugh and love
as though each moment were our last to spend together.

I love you as you are today – what you are
when you are with me – and what we are when we are together.

Roxanne Zusmer


Went 2 ur apt. Sadly it was
MT. Not the same w/o u. Fed
the cat & watered the plant.
Shd I keep the cat? 2 late 4
the plant. Cat will survive –
Will we? :-)

© 2018 Roxanne Zusmer