Monday June 7th, 2010

The exercise:

Your prompt: fragile.

Picked up the new Jack Johnson CD yesterday and I'm diggin' it, as expected. I also found a best of Frank Sinatra CD that was on sale and couldn't resist picking it up. That man can croon.


There’s a sign on your heart,
But the writing’s not clear;
I won’t let that stop me,
I’ve got nothing to fear.

* * *

So I worked late again,
Why is that a big deal?
What happened to your trust,
When’d it have its last meal?

Quit your preachin’ woman,
I will drink all I please!
This whiskey keeps me warm
While you make our bed freeze.

Your tears keep talking,
I ain’t listening no more;
Yeah you heard me sweetheart,
Your act’s making me bored.

* * *

Empty house, empty bed,
Regret is in the air;
I guess that the sign said:
Fragile – Handle With Care.


Greg said...

Wow, that's a great poem! A little longer than the ones you've been putting out lately -- is this a little burst of energy before you start packing up to depart to the Orchards of Osyoos (there's a prompt for you, if you want it!)?
I really liked the last verse because it pulled the poem together, gave it the ending to its little story. The middle verse was also pretty fantastic, comparing whiskey and frigidity!

Mine's short today, I'm waiting for the taxi to set me back en route to Montreal.


Fragile n. Frantically agile, as when you've just spilled your hot coffee in your lap and are dancing around trying to keep the liquid away from your delicate skin. Applies variously to cats on hot tin rooves, Paula Abdul in the mid-nineties and people who can't tell the difference between meth and moth (balls) until their dealer's already leaving on a (stolen) motorcycle.
[Etymology uncertain, poss. contraction of frantically agile, though there is evidence to suggest it may come from the Early English Supercalifragiliciousexpialidocious and the Mary Poppins myth cycle. See Tasha Noble and associated luminaries.]

morganna said...

I also used today's prompt over at Write With Pictures ( Tuesday's Tale) for my little story:

She didn't think she was fragile, especially when she wore her orange skirt. She could take on the world then.

He was supposed to come that night. She put on her orange skirt and waited. She waited all night long for a knock that never came. She burned the orange skirt the next day.

Heather said...

Marc- Your poem strikes me. It reminds me of my parents to a great degree.

Greg- I see definitions are your thing. love the bit about Mary Poppins.

Moganna- I need to check out the picture. I envision quite a wild orange skirt.
"You affect me," he said when he ran across her on a lonely country corner. She was nervous, not wanting to be in this situation and having only her sleeping child in the car across the street as witness to the moment. She'd stopped to take a picture of the winding road not expecting to see anyone, especially not someone she had largely forgotten. Raising her hand to shield her eyes from the sunlight was the only response she gave. He continued on, oblivious to her shielded answers and closed-off body language.

He started showing up to her house unannounced. It never set well with her. She socialized, but barely. Excuses were plenty on why he couldn't stay long or how bad her days looked for the next week or two. "I'm simply not available," she would say without looking at her calendar. She prayed he would just go away. He didn't.

She was most annoyed by his insistence that he knew her well. He never said it directly, but she read it in little ways. He tried to soothe her when she wasn't upset, telling her to give herself a break. She was fully in control. He offered up his carpentry skills to fix things she thought were lovely the way they were. He didn't understand her logic or love for the little imperfections. He invited himself along on trips, confused why she refused his offer in exchange for that of another mother. He tried to insert himself into her life.

She hid. Turning lights off, pretending she wasn't home if someone knocked on the door. She had her husband clean out the garage to ensure she could fit her car inside it and then left the garage door closed. She sequestered her children in the basement in front of the TV. She felt helpless, torn by her role in the mess. She thought she would break from the stress, being as fragile as the relationship she didn't want.

Marc said...

Greg - I think I needed a warm-up before I have to write a ballad for the next round of the poetry comp :P

That is an excellent prompt suggestion, by the way. Consider it filed away for future use.

I love that definition. I think you're on to something with those :)

Morganna - I can picture that skirt perfectly. Nicely done.

Heather - I'm glad you liked it, though I wish it didn't remind you of anyone, much less your parents.

That was a very powerful piece. It's amazing the power we let others have over us sometimes.