When I was in the seventh grade, I wrote a terrific and revealing story. I gave it to my English teacher to read. She lost it. Because I was proud of the story, I rewrote it several times trying to get it back. Each of the versions varied slightly, but the basics never altered. I was young and beautiful. I …
Mama tried so hard to teach us manners,
Most food you don’t eat with your fingers,
Close your mouth when you chew,
Say please when you ask someone to pass the potatoes,
Say excuse me when you get up to leave the table,
And eat everything on your plate before you ask for more.
But my brothers ate like ravening wolves,
Like they hadn’t been fed for years,
So every meal was filled with reminders,
Slapped hands that reached clear across
The table, occasional tears, some shouts,
Many threats. My sisters sat for hours
And stared at their vegetables
Willing them back in the bowl.
It never worked. My father ate in silence.
The rules never applied to him.
Occasionally he would yell at everyone
To shut up, then he’d get up and leave
The table. One night, he reached silently
For the last pork steak at the same time
That my brother, Darrell, tried to spear
The same pork steak with his fork.
Darrell stabbed Daddy’s hand, drew
The fork back in terror, started to say sorry,
When Daddy backhanded him, and Darrell
Went flying, hit the wall, slid down sobbing
While everyone else sat silent.
Daddy finished his pork steak,
Got up and left the table.
Darrell came back and sat down,
Finished his potatoes while we argued
Over who had to do the dishes
Until Mama told us all to shut up.
She scraped the girl’s green beans
Back in the bowl to save for another night.
We all learned a lesson –
Ever forked with Daddy again!
Forking fun for some Holiday Hilarity! – mh
I used to speak muffeletto,
Until some told me that
It was a sandwich. I thought
About pianissimo, but that
Seemed too loud and tinkly.
So, now, for the most part, I
Speak softly, sometimes ever-so
Softly, and carry, behind my back,
A very, very large stick. One
Of the Roosevelts said that
When speaking about our country.
Well, sez I, seems like good advice
To me. I am my own country,
The mighty Republic of Me, sometimes
A democracy (all of my selves have a vote),
Sometimes, just sometimes, a monarchy –
I am the Queen of Me! the Queen
Bee, a right, royal person, secure
On my throne, no one will overthrow me.
Sometimes, I am a Socialist (so sue me!).
Sometimes far too Liberal, sometimes
Far too Conservative, sometimes
So Middle-of-the-Road it’s depressing,
A rebel at heart, not on the surface.
Wishy-washy, namby-pamby, upsy-daisy,
Oopsy-whoopsy, onkey-donkey, okey-dokey,
Icky-dicky, never too good at tricky-
Dicky, (gave it up early). You say Picasso.
I say stacatto. Either way up, I’m just
Good old mutable, changable, mostly
(if you take the trouble)
If you’re asking me, I’d say, “Yes!” But, he-nique? She-nique? We-nique? No-nique, nobody knows me like my Mama knows me… – mh
When we were
You told me,
“You are what you eat.”
So I cooked
My sisters and son knew
We were nuts.
We were kohlrabi.
We were various tubers,
Roots, rhizomes. All those
Spring, summer, fall, winter,
Green, purple, red, yellow
Leaving you, I turned carnivorous,
Looking for lean, red meat,
Satisfying submerged cravings,
Seeking prey for the sensual predator
You never found.
Finding a love to match one’s appetite is a life-long endeavor. Bon appetit – mh
“Big trees provoke the pride of winds” ~ Japanese proverb
A casual breeze, I’ll riffle your leaves.
Lightly gusting, I’ll toss your twigs.
A dust devil, I’ll twirl your slim branches.
A tornado, I’ll strip your leaves and crack your limbs.
Cyclonic, I’ll rip your roots and twist your trunk.
In a hurricane passion
You are mine
And I can discard you,
Hey, fellas! If you have shallow-rooted intentions, look out! – mh