Frangipani behind the Ear

We return to the Grand Pacific Hotel
in Suva, Fiji, but it is not the way it 
was or what we thought it was:
the cold lobster almost as big as 
a pork roast in the garden by the Pacific, 
the moon floating on the waves as
yellow as mango then you and Brian 
off to see the cava ceremony For Men 
Only, while I remained and read Camus, 
and now we stoop arthritically to pick 
the fallen frangipani blossoms at the 
rusting front gate and put a honey-
fragrant bud behind each other’s ear 
the way we did then.  No one has entered 
or exited the open-air opulent lobby 
which I can see is still tiled in big black 
and white checkerboard squares like 
Leslie’s café on Facebook Café World, 
but you say, I want to go inside, so, 
frangipani still behind your ear, you go 
while I wait by the fragrant tree beside 
our white Hertz Toyota. Quicker than 
a tropical fish darting for food, you return 
and I see that you are blushing. A young 
Fijian man made a pass at me, you say, 
horrified. We laugh as I ask, Was he cute?


Photo by Vijeshwar Datt on Unsplash

Jan Ball

Jan has had 247 poems accepted or published in multiple countries and has appeared in Calyx, Chiron, Connecticut Review, Main Street Rag, Muse, Nimrod, Phoebe and many other journals. Her poem won second runner-up in 2010 contest issue of So to Speak. Her poem, Carwash, won the 2011 Betsy Colquitt Award for the best poem. Jan wrote a doctoral dissertation at the University of Rochester in 1996.

Jan’s full length poetry publication I Wanted to Dance with My Father. It was published by Finishing Line Press the end of September, 2017.

Jan has taught ESL at DePaul University. She lived in Australia for fifteen years with her Australian husband, Ray Ball. Her two children, Geoffrey and Quentin, were born in Brisbane.