That dreaded red-letter day.

Out of the fire like Catholic saints

Comes Scarlett and her deep complaint

Mimicking tenderness she sees

In sentimental movies

A celluloid rider comes to town

Cinematic lovers sway

Plantations and sweeping ballroom gowns

Take her breath away

Out in the wind in crinolines

Chasing the ghosts of Gable and Flynn

Through stand-in boys and extra players

Magnolias hopeful in her auburn hair

She comes from a school of southern charm

She likes to have things her way

Any man in the world holding out his arm

Would soon be made to pay

Friends have told her not so proud

Neighbors trying to sleep and yelling not so

Lovers in anger Block of Ice

Harder and harder just to be nice

Given in the night to dark dreams

From the dark things she feels

She covers her eyes in the x-rated scenes

Running from the reels

Beauty and madness to be praised

‘Cause it is not easy to be brave

To walk around in so much need

To carry the weight of all that greed

Dressed in stolen clothes she stands

Cast iron and frail

With her impossibly gentle hands

And her blood-red fingernails

Out of the fire and still smoldering

She says A woman must have everything

Shades of Scarlett Conquering

She says A woman must have everything

“Shades of Scarlett Conquering,” Joni
Mitchell. (Thanks to the Joni Mitchell discussion

I dread Valentine’s Day.
I dread pink-and-red checkered tablecloths at McDonald’s, cutout cherry hearts
in shop windows, enthusiastically overpriced bouquets of limp roses. I shrink
away from Valentine card displays, Valentine drinks with free blank-eyed fuzzy
teddy bears, Valentine sale tags on department store