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Image result for Utamaro lovers

(British Museum: Lovers in an Upstairs Room by Utamaro)

 

Delicate moments,

such as marriage proposals,

can be quite ruined

by an inopportune sneeze.

The superstitious

interrupt the proceedings

by shouting, Bless you!

to banish bad luck.

Then everyone looks around,

convinced they’ll catch cold.

Your suitor sniffles

into his paper Kleenex

and changes his mind.

You tell yourself that you

would have said, No, anyway.

 

 

alternatively-

 

Delicate moments,

such as marriage proposals,

can be quite ruined

by an inopportune sneeze.

The superstitious

believe a lie is signalled

by sternutation

and are wont to say, Bless you!

That undermines gravity

and provokes laughter.

Those who may lack confidence

don’t resume their spiel.

They often change the subject

and abandon the issue.