Monday, March 25, 2013

No Good Words

The assignment was to take the number of pets you or someone you know has times twenty-five, go to that page in the dictionary, count down to the seventeenth entry in the left-hand column and write a poem on the word you find there. It turned out to be more challenging than I thought.


  I guess I thought with two dictionaries
   Finding a very appropriate word
   Based on the number of dogs, canaries,
   Kittens or gerbils I have in my herd
   Would not cause fear, strain, stress, dread, or fuss.
   It sounded so easy, a piece of cake.
   But it’s made me one quivering cuss.
   My brow is furrowed and my gray cells ache.
   The truth is, I have no animal friends,
   But Beth and Ken and Hayden do have three
   And so rather than try to make amends
   For ignoring the assignment, you see,
   I would do just as Suzanne suggested –
   Take their three canines times five and twenty
   And then as I my big meal digested
   Find the right page among words aplenty,
   Down the left column, counting seventeen.
   In the American Heritage book
   I had an experience unforeseen.
   Aghast, appalled I took another long look
   But my eyes though old had not been deceived.
   Three hours later, still deeply in shock,
   I looked once more and had not misconceived.
   That word, O, alas it rhymed with “a sock.”
   Could be a hat worn atilt and jaunty
   Or a gun trigger, pulled, ready to fire
   But some prudes might deem the word quite naughty,
   And pummel me with prudish ire.
   I sensed my spare book of definitions
   Would have a nicer word correctly placed.
   But they’re never right, my premonitions,
   And the word I found was in such bad taste
   That, astounded, I just threw up my hands
   When I spotted the nasty “battle-ax:”
   “A domineering old woman.” My lands.
    I don’t know any. And them’s the facts.
   Or at least the facts to which I’ll admit,
   Surrounded by gals here old and older,
   Who hate “battle-ax” and will throw fit
   Should I say it. But wait till I get bolder.

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