We would like to thank you for the submission of your untitled poem ("Roses are red/Violets are blue") to The Missouri Review. We assure you that it received the utmost attention of our editorial staff. Though we regret that we are unable to accept your poem for publication, we would like to share a few observations and to offer suggestions towards a revision. It is our belief that another draft or two might strengthen the chances of the poem's later publication—if not in the pages of our own humble journal, then perhaps in another of greater merit.
We might consider this poem a reunion poem in which two lovers come back together following the woman's recent dalliance with another. Though on the surface the reunion seems innocent enough, given the poem's traditional "roses are red" structure and meter, the apparent joy of the man at her return, his willingness to forgive and move forward, a closer reading reveals a more ambiguous, potentially darker interpretation of the lovers' reunion. [...]