When You Tease

for Carol, of course, off course. Of course.

You know how I feel
when you weep, even—
especially—when you tease.
Your bottom lip quivers,

like . . .

like the wild rose petals at the end
of our little road to the Folly
when they are touched by a chill
breeze from the north and shiver.

Your cheeks pinken too,
a bit, and your tears are real,
a shine and a promise of what
will be all better sometime—

before our future’s end.
But what makes me feel
what I feel when you weep
is that I know

just how well your lips,
and your expression
and the tears act out the joy
of teasing me these sixty years.

And I wonder, will I smile
the same bright tears when
you greet me and talk to me
after I have become naught?

Will I tease back? Will I, at last,
tease from the breath of some
lingering flutter, our shared
aurora of electrons?

Richard Fenton Sederstrom was raised and lives in the Sonoran Desert of Arizona and the North Woods of Minnesota. Sederstrom is the author of seven books of poetry, his newest book, Icarus Rising, Misadventures in Ascension, published by Jackpine Writers' Bloc, was released last winter. Read other articles by Richard Fenton.