Nothing Ventured

an office romance

“What more do you want?” he inquired without guile.
Can it really be true that my feelings don’t show?
She marveled within, and, suppressing a smile,
Inventoried the things he appeared not to know:

I want more than greetings on alternate Mondays
And occasional chats over coffee or tea.
I want the betweens—all those Tuesdays through Sundays;
I want you to always be thinking of me.

I want you impatient when stuck in a meeting;
I want you frustrated when something won’t load;
I want you at outset, all bright-eyed and speeding,
I want you bone-weary at the end of the road.

Your awkward embarrassment after a blunder;
Your thrill of success when a project goes well;
Your jaded complacency, your sense of wonder;
The secret good deeds you’re too modest to tell.

I want you pulse-pounding in moments of panic;
I want you, pulse calm in the solace of sleep;
I want your full spectrum—from mellow to manic—
I don’t want “business hours,” I want you to keep.

I want you for real life, its moments and messes,
To be there beside you in all that you do;
Your highs and your lows, your defeats and successes;
No, I’m not asking much—I just want all of you.

He ventured throat-clearing, a gentle suggestion
Reminding the dreamer she hadn’t replied.
She regained her composure, repeating the question:
“What more do I want?”
_________________________________________“Oh, nothing,” she lied.


Two Limericks


Early Thaw

Two snowfolk named Horace and Heather,
Whose deep love was confounded by weather,
__Said, “Our only hope lies
__In concurrent demise—
Let us melt, and then run off together!”


Growing Pains

My poor son, I’m afraid, is no scholar,
For although he’s grown taller and taller,
__Still he won’t duck his head;
__No, he bumps it instead,
Then lets loose with an ear-splitting holler.



Anna J. Arredondo grew up in Pennsylvania, where she fell in love with poetry from a young age. After living in Mexico for six years, during which time she met and married her husband, she returned to Pennsylvania for one more decade. An engineer by education, home educator by choice, and poet by preference, she relocated in 2017 and currently resides in Westminster, CO with her husband and three school-age children. Anna has recently had poems published in The Lyric and Time of Singing.

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26 Responses

  1. C.B. Anderson

    Nice work, Anna, with just the right touch of ironic humor. In the first poem, you showed us how to italicize an inner thought sequence, and the final stepped line shows us how to maximize the effect of caesurae.

    • Anna J. Arredondo

      Thank you, C.B.
      I have great respect for your technical precision and virtuosity, so your compliment means a lot.

  2. Daniel Kemper

    The limerick’s are fun, but that’s a terrific poem– and not in IP! Refreshing. I think the pulse of anapestic tetrameter really adds to the poem- it brings the reader into the racing pulse of the lovelorn speaker. What a great way to start my day.

    • Anna J. Arredondo

      Thank you, Daniel. I like your observation connecting the meter to “the racing pulse of the lovelorn speaker.” I’m glad you enjoyed the poems!

  3. Joseph S. Salemi

    It only goes to show you: women always want too much out of a simple fling.

    • Anna J. Arredondo


      The above-mentioned woman, who wants everything,
      Doesn’t want too much “out of-” she wants “more than-” a fling.

      Thanks for your comment. 🙂

  4. Sally Cook

    Joe, don’t you know no fling is ever simple?
    The slightest glance can shake the ground below—
    A giggle may inspire a psychic pimple,
    And leave your heart with nothing much to show.

    • Joseph S. Salemi

      I have a poem here, due about November 11, which gives the male perspective on this matter.

      • Anna J. Arredondo

        Or at least ‘a’ male perspective on this matter… I wonder what specifically you refer to as “this matter.” Will it be a perspective on the matter of flings or of more lasting relationships? Or perhaps on the issues arising from two parties’ disparate expectations? I suppose we shall wait and see…

      • Joseph S. Salemi

        Actually, it’s a comic-satiric poem from my book Skirmishes on the second of your suggestions: “the issues arising from two parties’ disparate expectations.” Oddly (or coincidentally) enough, my poem also includes the phrase “occasional chats.” Margaret Coats read it a few weeks back, and has already weighed in with a private e-mail to me.

        The ancient Greeks had the best explanation as to why men and women can’t agree. Men were created by the titan Prometheus, and are therefore titanically energetic and driven. Women were created by the gods, and are therefore divinely lovely and alluring (not to mention some bad qualities especially added by Zeus to cause trouble).

        In any case, I think your poem is excellently crafted.

      • Anna J. Arredondo

        Ah, it is bound to be interesting then. I look forward to reading your poem next month.

        Also, thank you!

  5. Cynthia Erlandson

    “Nothing Ventured” tells a good psychological story; and the limericks are great fun; I especially enjoyed the rhymes scholar/taller/holler.

  6. Jeff Eardley

    Anna, really enjoyed all these. “Early Thaw” is up there with the great Limericks of all time.

    • Anna J. Arredondo

      Thank you, Jeff for your high praise of Early Thaw. Interestingly, I had been helping a young friend with brainstorming for her creative writing assignment to compose four haikus. Afterwards I had so many words and ideas buzzing around in my head, I had to write SOMEthing, but mine came out in the form of the two limericks. 🙂

  7. Susan Jarvis Bryant

    For me, “Nothing Ventured” affords so much more than initially meets the eye. It is a masterclass in showing not telling, with lines such as, “I want you at outset, all bright-eyed and speeding,/I want you bone-weary at the end of the road” drawing the reader in with the heart-pounding tension of the piece. The sing-song meter of the poem belies what simmers beneath the surface… the side effect of affairs… potential love. I had a lump in my throat after reading the poem and felt the ache of yearning for a lifetime of exactly what isn’t on offer… yet. Maybe the title is the clue to a happy ending, and I’m a sucker for those.

    Anna, thank you very much for all of these accomplished pieces, especially “Nothing Ventured”. I might have fallen in love with the poem for all the wrong reasons but I love it, regardless.

    • Anna J. Arredondo


      Thank you so much for your words. (I do not comment often, but I enjoy and admire your work very much, and especially appreciate some of your recent, timely poems on this site.)

      I am surprised and pleased that you caught that lump-in-the-throat kind of yearning in Nothing Ventured; that was very much my intention, besides the apparent lightheartedness from the ironic twist at the end. This poem was actually turned down by another publication, so it is especially sweet to see it well received here, and by poets I admire and look up to.

      Thanks again!

      • Susan Jarvis Bryant

        Anna, I cannot believe any editor would turn down this shining gem of a poem and I’m thrilled it’s published here. One of the other reasons I love your poem is that (for me) it could be written from a male perspective; when the pronouns are switched, it’s just as valid. When love (not sex) calls us, our hearts simply have to respond. Your poem is highly entertaining, but, so much more than that, it engages the reader on many levels as you’ve seen from the responses. Very well done, indeed!

  8. Dave Whippman

    “Nothing Ventured” is well written, almost tragic in an understated way. Good work. Another reminder that in general, men and women just don’t look at things in the same way.

    • Anna J. Arredondo

      Thank you, Dave. It is true that in general we don’t. I think poetry is a delightful way to share our perspectives with one another!

  9. David Watt

    The employment of unspoken thoughts in “Nothing Ventured” provides a window into a woman’s perspective, and does so very well. “Early Thaw” is a gem of a limerick.


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