Sunday, January 8, 2017

Over It

I have some sort of thing going on where I’m really congested, but not actually fully sick. It’s incredibly annoying and it’s making me tired, so all I want to do is sit on the couch and watch the Golden Globes pre-show red-carpet fashion to-do. That’s probably all I’d want to do anyway, but at least I have sinus congestion as an excuse. Right now, I’m just over it all. I’m over winter and the rain and the incessant cold and dark, I’m over feeling this constant low-grade crappiness, and I’m over this nagging knee injury that never got correctly diagnosed or treated and gets worse when it gets super-cold out like it has been. Also, I didn’t sew this week or play a fascinating new game or do anything but work, so I’m drained dry of interesting things to tell you about. All of this to say, there will be no proper blog post today. Instead, I present you with a story poem to tide you over until I feel like a human being again:

 Penny the Pig

Penny's favorite sucker, her ever-lasting
gobstopper, was a plastic Fun Family Collection
boy-teenager figurine in a red striped
t-shirt and khakis, with a stiff curlicue of
yellow hair, and black slash eyebrows. His
shoes were lumpy white globs of resin
like something had gone
wrong on the assembly line.
She dug him up behind the barn the night Cecily
left him there during the hailstorm.
Penny kept him safe from the other pigs; dragged
him off and buried him each night, sat
jealously near his dirt hole,
until she dug him up again, rolled
him with her overheated tongue, and
shook him in her mouth as though to snap
his rigid little neck. After a week
he was a pockmarked mess, his brows
mottled with teeth pricks and his
blob-shoes dull with grime.
Penny had made him his own. Broken him in.

Penny screamed and grunted the night Cecily
figured where he was and stole him back. She smacked Penny
with a split-off fence panel and ran
into the house sobbing, clutching the boy by his
dented chest. She spent all night scouring
his body with a potato scrubber, and painting
his shoes with Great Grape nail polish.
She filled in his brows with magic marker and put him
back on her bed stand with the dad, the Grandpa, the
Mom, the prim sister,
and the squinty aunt with a feather hat.

Penny forgot about him after a few days, but Cecily
never found forgiveness in her heart. When Andy
ran off junior year for a job in Akron, daddy
moved up north for good, and momma
sold the property for less than it was worth, Cecily made it a point
to throw rotted crabapples at Penny until
the station wagon was packed, and we couldn’t
wait for her any more. Penny
was lumbering off toward the barn
with her ass pointed at us as we drove off towards Indiana.
I don’t think she even saw us leave. Cecily carried her
family in a ziplock bag all the way to Fort Wayne
until she forgot it one morning in a Motel Six.
Momma said we weren’t going back.
We weren’t made of gas money,
and anyway Cece needed to learn
there were consequences for carelessness.

--Kristen McHenry

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