Teatime for Gladys

Teatime for Gladys

I’m telling you,
there’s something strange going on in that house.

Needing to vent after working long after
the office should have closed
to complete a project that was later than
yesterday’s paper delivered tomorrow,
receiving a good chewing out by his boss,
and feeling more bedraggled than a slipper
gnawed by his friend when she turned him into a dog,
he walked in the door to find his dinner on the table,
fried chicken soggier than the teabag
that’s been sitting in my cup since I saw this all happen.

Hotter than a steam whistle on a Natchez riverboat in August,
his anger boiled out of him in a scream that rippled
across his lips like the waves rolling off that boat’s bow.
Done venting, and feeling as foolish as a carny
hitting the dunk tank water for the fifth time
at the arm of a high school baseball pitcher,
he apologized to his loving wife with words
softer than a whisper in a monastery.
With one twitch of her nose, the table was set
for an eight-course dinner
with a steaming roast sitting in the center.

Abner Kravitz closed the blinds and turned to Gladys.
The Stephens are no different than any new married couple.
I swear, you’re so cuckoo you’ll end up getting a part
if they ever make that Ken Kesey novel into a movie.

“One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest,” written by Ken Kesey in 1962 was adapted as a Broadway play in 1963 and as a movie in 1975.

“softer than a whisper in a monastery” was the first line that came to me as I wrote this.

This is my response to Day 24 at napowrimo.net, where Maureen Thorsen cites the style in Raymond Chandler’s detective novels and asks us to “channel your inner gumshoe, and write a poem in which you describe something with a hard-boiled simile. Feel free to use just one, or try to go for broke and stuff your poem with similes till it’s . . . as dense as bread baked by a plumber, as round as the eyes of a girl who wants you to think she’s never heard such language, and as easy to miss as a brass band in a cathedral.”

Image source: YouTube

23 thoughts on “Teatime for Gladys

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