Mrs. Richardson lived a life of sticky notes,
monthly planners, & endless to-do lists,
& was often bombarded with emails & texts
for the times she couldn’t be there
or they couldn’t be there.
She spent too much time
trying to coordinate
a fraction of time
that didn’t conflict with jobs or classes
or anything else.
So she looked forward to the incredible luxury
of a career that wouldn’t follow her home,
buy her one.
Marnie Owens spent her days
slaying needless words,
knocking out commas,
& stopping run-on sentences
in their muddy tracks.
She even killed
a story or two sometimes.
Her evenings were spent
as a Math Lab supervisor,
yet she didn’t know
a differential equation from
a non-differential equation
& thought of cube roots
as the 3-D version
of the square root.
She was no Charlie’s Angel,
but she managed to work
on a novel in her free time
& make it home in time
to read her little girl a bedtime story,
for such was all in day’s work.
Melody Doremi was a fashion dessert plate,
every piece she wore making a statement.
the message was a little too hot,
a little too cold;
for others still,
it was total umami.
Weary of the coverage,
she ditched her clothes altogether,
only to realize there was no longer
to cover up the tattoos that said it all.
Subject & Verb had a disagreement,
for Dynamic Verb believed it was superior
to Static Subject,
until Verb realized that without a vessel,
his work could not be done,
& Subject realized that without some action,
no one would care.
It was then they decided that the real enemy
was the Adverb—
an extremely, incredibly, annoyingly extraneous
part of speech.
Through her typewriter,
the introvert known as Elizabeth von Baron
became known as Dear Libby,
so that as she became established in the spirit,
in the flesh,
She scribbled on the walls,
a pre-literate graffiti,
a magenta crayon being her tool of choice.
She drew her stories on the carbon paper
her mother brought home,
each picture numbering 1000 words.
She wrote her stories in black-&-white
stories that rewrote her history—
so that she became the worst sort
of unreliable narrator,
for she plagiarized from no one’s life,
not even her own.
He took astronomy,
to understand the universe.
She took humanities,
to understand the world.
She filled cradles,
She was young at heart,
he, an old soul.
They served their purposes,
if not on purpose,
for he’d inherited his father’s business,
a life of indentured surrogacy.
When Yankee ingenuity
met Southern hospitality,
they each felt superior—
with their manners,
& the Yank,
with their side having won
Chaos & Control were 2 of a mother,
Chaos, preferring the surf side any day,
Control, poolside & the sound side
only on green flag days.
Control retained her hourglass figure,
whereas Chaos had been as shapely
as every fruit in the basket.
Sir Benedict was a good egg,
always on the sunny side,
though sometimes he got scrambled
when he came out of his shell.
He could also be hard-boiled when unwell,
when his chicken-hearted mother,
who was bit on the overly easy side
would coddle him,
basting him with soup–
courtesy of one of his relatives.
Mr. Ruffles was known for his candies—
his chocolaterie being a real jimdandy.
Yet he was pounded into mincemeat,
when he dipped the shroomy truffle sweets
into the magic that made him randy.
The extra time she used to spend reading mystery novels,
she spent reading Mickey Mouse’s adventures.
The extra time used to spend watching “I Love Lucy,”
she spent making someone else laugh.
The extra time she used to spend working on her own story,
she recorded their story,
so that her child would never forget
that he’d been loved
before her time ran out.
When he published his late wife’s book,
it brought back the woman he’d loved before,
& the son he’d never known.
By fulfilling her last wish,
she’d fulfilled his.
His whole married life,
she’d been a mystery.
It was only through her death
that he solved the puzzle she’d been–
realizing that because he’d loved what he’d known,
he could love what he had not.
She had stayed with him through sickness,
he, through health;
she, through poorer,
he, through richer.
The worse was greater than
& yet she stayed,
for the promise had said “or”
& not “and.”
They changed roles out of necessity–
him becoming the house husband,
her becoming the career woman–
modeling themselves after what worked for them,
& not their Mormon counterparts.
His thumb was green
even as hers was black,
but with his fertilizer
in her fertile ark,
they reproduced one of each–
after their own kind.
Scrabble & Sudoku
often got into word fights,
making it a numbers game,
but when they learned how
to relate to one another,
who confounded them both,
He wrote “How-To”,
she wrote “Who’s Who?”,
so she didn’t know how,
& he didn’t know who.
When Airhead met Egghead,
he put his yolk upon her,
& she whipped him into meringue.
Money was the only thing
that ever came between them:
he made not enough,
& she made too much.
They were two sides of a bad penny—
she was pigtails & ponytails,
he was an unwashed head
but together they weren’t worth
one red cent.