“Meet me at the Ritz,” he said

“and we’ll have a nice tea,

and some of those little cucumber sandwiches

with perhaps a few of their Petit Fours”

Reluctantly, she agreed.

It was so unlike Luther to suggest


He who counted and hoarded every penny

and thought a fine day together was a

walk in the park– with her bringing some tuna fish

sandwiches for them to eat and  a thermos of

tea for them to drink.

But she dressed meticulously in her

very best frock

and took special care with her nails and make up,

brushing her hair to make it shine.

Luther was waiting at a table and waited until she was seated

to announce that he had ordered the cucumber sandwiches

but, of course, if there was something else she preferred?

Oh, no, she responded. Cucumber sandwiches are just fine.

wondering what  is up with Luther?

The Ritz was over-warm and very crowded.

she began to feel a little lightheaded,

and worried a little more, a frown making a crease

between her eyebrows.

Luther ordered two of the pink petit fours, the ones

with tiny candied violets on top.

The waitress brought another pot of tea and their

two pink petit fours.

She fretted.

Finally, Luther spoke.  “I’m sorry to say,” he began

and she braced herself, fearing the worst–

“My dear” he began again, at which point

She fainted dead away, landing face-down

smack in the middle of her petit four.

When she came to, Luther was gone

and she was stuck with the bill and a candied violet

on her nose.

She knew she would never see him again.


Sandra Lee Smith

Written April 29, 2009/updated June 24, 2018


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