Coleridge
by Bob Bradshaw


Dorothy smiles sadly.
Coleridge lumbers up the stairs,
his heart heaving like a widow's.
He takes his "medicine"
and slips into an undercurrent
of dreams.
He surfaces hours later,
his sense of failure
growing.

Too bad, Wordsworth thinks, that he tolerated
The Mariner.
How can he suggest
that they drop it
from the next
edition?
It has no more place
in the Ballads
than operatic singing would have
in the middle
of a conversation.
Still,
what can he do?
Besides, Coleridge
is steadfastly
grateful.
And as a poet
Coleridge is no
threat.
He is too
distracted.
With his opium habits
he'll always be like a man
digging a hole
in the desert,
its walls
collapsing
sand.






Copyright 2019 by Red River Review. First Rights Reserved. All other rights revert to the authors.
No work may be reproduced or republished without the express written consent of the author.