Bruce Bennett

Who Wouldn’t Want to be a Romantic?

How comforting to sink to rest
Upon one’s “fair love’s ripening breast,”
There blissfully to swoon away,
Lulled by that gentle rhythmic sway,

Instead of what we know occurs:
If there’s a breast, it won’t be hers.
It will be in the scrub, or gown,
Of someone who will not be known

And, though she’ll minister sincerely,
Will never hold, or love you dearly.
She’ll tend to you, and change your sheets,
But she will never know you’re Keats.

With any luck though, you won’t know it.

So, go on dreaming like a Poet.

Probable Cause

I found out afterward. He took her out
while I was out of town. It wasn’t clear—
since our relationship was rather fraught—
that that would matter, and it didn’t appear
it did, until he made some sort of “pass,”
or worse, no one would say, but it was bad.
Much later, she decided to confess.
Too late it turned out. It was all so sad.

He had assaulted her. He didn’t date,
and he was envious, I guess, of me.
My girl. He thought that somehow he might rate
if he could have her too, so awkwardly
he went about it. Failed. I thought, Poor guy,
why kill himself?, then later, found out why.

Bruce Bennett is the author of ten full-length collections of poetry and more than thirty poetry chapbooks. His most recent book is Just Another Day in Just Our Town: Poems New And Selected, 2000-2016 (Orchises Press, 2017). His most recent chapbook is A Man Rode Into Town (FootHills Publishing, 2018). He taught English and American Literature and Creative Writing and directed the Visiting Writers Series at Wells College from 1973 until his retirement in 2014, and is now Emeritus Professor of English. In 2012 he received a Pushcart Prize for a villanelle in Ploughshares. His poetry website is



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