Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Wedding Gift

Age is never kind.
Reluctantly leaving the now fading dream
of vaguely disjointed memories from his long past youth,
of a bright-eyed girl in white silk
and cherry blossoms covering the lawn,
he rubbed the sticky goo from the corners of his eyes,
‘eye boogers’ is what we called them when I was kid, he thought,
wondering if they were some kind of infection of the lacrimal system
and possibly related to the bucktooth prostitute
snoring softly under the dirty bed sheet next to him.
Leaning over to rouse his companion
he pulled back, repelled by her Sunday morning whore breath,
stinking of whisky, cigarettes and semen,
muttering to himself, Ben, you retard,
it’s your Golden Anniversary,
50 years with the same faithful woman,
and here you are, lower than a deer tick
hoping a fifty dollar bill will breathe life
back into your wrinkled scrotum.
But he knew the old woman at home wouldn’t care,
had stopped caring decades ago,
when he would wander off for a Saturday night
of boozing, gambling and whoring.
He saw his life as kind of a Cajun James Joyce novel,
like one long run-on sentence
in a babbling stream-of-consciousness,
hard to understand, but rich with feeling,
filled with a monotonous sameness
accented occasionally by poor choices.
The dream whispered faintly in the back of his mind,
and he knew the girl in the white dress was his bride,
the dream the memory of a time
when her lips tasted of hummingbird nectar.
For a moment he remembered his vows
and dressed quietly in shame.

Author's Note: Another jigsaw poem, the words given to me by my niece's fiance during the 25th Anniversary Party my bride and I celebrated on the 20th of March. It was late into the night and after opening some monster (in flavor and alcohol content) brews when we discussed writing (both my niece and him are both writers), poetry and priming the creativity pump when it seems the well is dry. His words were: bucktooth, retard, cherry blossoms, deer tick, wrinkled scrotum, Golden Anniversary, hummingbird nectar, eye boogers, Sunday morning whore breath and James Joyce. Ok. Pretty strange collection of words, plus it's only supposed to be ten single words, not double words and certainly not phrases like Sunday morning whore breath (what the hell is he thinking?). Thought he would trip me up, he did, but welcome to the family Ben - you'll fit right in!

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