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Roses, Violets, Etc.

I woke up this morning to a Facebook feed full of Valentine-themed posts. Random pictures in boxes with quotes next to them, photos of heart-shaped breakfasts, you know. There was also one little gem, written by a friend for her fiance. Her take on the ‘roses are red’ ditty.

roses are red

Good start, I thought.

violets are blue

Going the classic route, I like that.

you may be fast, but I still caught you!

An appropriately rhyming, not-too-saccharine interpretation of a classic. I didn’t think it would be too hard to think of my own to send O via text, but then… let’s just say there were a lot of red roses and each one was pretty freaking thorny.

Attempt 1: Okay, but only just okay. Deemed it a mediocre first try and discarded.

roses are red
violets are blue
i’ll pick up your socks
’till you’re a hundred, it’s true

Attempt 2: Frustrated by my first attempt, I took my anger out on the poem.

roses are red
violets are blue
this poem was cute
back when I was, like, two

Anyone else do things like that? For example, upset by the fact that making risotto is hard, mentally holler ‘risotto is so so stupid!’ instead of recognizing you’re kind of stupid for not just following the directions as they were written? Not really fair, I know, but I expected poetic brilliance on my first go-round.

Attempt 3: In which I caved to the auto-correct version of ‘red’ and let stand Open Office’s version of what it wanted to type. Seriously, though. What kind of auto-correct is that? Really?!?!

roses are red-skinned
violets are blue
why are you racist, auto-correct?
I expected more from you

Attempt 4: Searching out inspiration from greater minds than my own, the ideology of Richard Dawkins came through. However, it’s not really the message I’m looking to send. Plus it doesn’t follow the rules.

roses are red
violets are blue
the heart is simply a pump
and love is merely a chemical imbalance in the brain

Attempt 5: This is it for me, I thought. If I can’t come up with anything good on my fifth try, it’s over between me and this poem. And it should have been over, because this is all I could come up with:

roses are red
violets are blue
this poem has beaten me
it’s totally a coup

Attempts 7 & 8: Moderately good things come to those who wait. O grew up in Israel, speaks Hebrew with his family and because of that I get to gracefully bow out of heated family disagreements because I, quite literally, cannot participate. My language skills are limited to ‘pil’ (elephant) and counting to ten. It’s sometimes handy, but not today.

roses are red
violets are blue
i’d say how much I like you in hebrew
if I knew how to do

This one is true, too, and I bet it’s how a lot of my fellow significant-others-of-a-grad-student feel today:

roses are red
violets are blue
just come home from school
so I can kiss you

Eventually, I accepted my mediocrity. The truth of the situation is that O already knows what I think of him. I’m crossing my fingers hoping that everyone else I love- my parents, my siblings, my best friends- knows how immensely good I think they are, too. That they make my world shiny and wonderful. I hope they also realize it’s alright to be a crappy poet. After all, most people probably want a box of chocolates or a perfectly grilled steak dinner instead of a poem, right?

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