Eunice MacNaughton-Hippelwhite,

Wife of Sir Basil Coddington Hippelwhite,

And daughter of steel magnate F. Pomeroy MacNaughton III

Of the upstate MacNaughtons,

Flung out her arm and tried to skip a stone on lake Michigan,

That cloudy September day in 1949,

But it sank like the Bismarck.

The sky above her was a particularly pleasing shade of blue,

The trees beyond the dunes stately,

And her clothing tasteful and expensive as she waded into the surf.

"Blaaaaahhhhhhh!" she said, startling some seagulls.

"Blahhhh gah fuckety fuck fuck fuck!" she went on.

Her tiny hands made splashing noises as she beat them against the surface of the water.

Eunice MacNaughton-Hippelwhite,

Wife of Basil Coddington Hippelwhite,

And daughter of steel magnate F. Pomeroy MacNaughton III,

Sat down on the bottom sand,

Shoulder deep in seaweed and the chilly waves,

As if she were attending a remarkably soggy polo match.

The big house behind her stood peaceful and distant.

Her hat floated away.

She wiggled her toes underwater.

Once, she had been kissed by Whitey Balachinsky,

Who now owned a service station on Route 28.

Once, she had danced to Benny Goodman with her friend Cookie,

Who wore Japanese harpoons in her hair, and told good jokes.

F. Pomeroy MacNaughton III, the steel magnate, had quietly put a stop to all that.

Sundays, Basil would call on her at the house.

They would sit on the couch like ornamental urns.

Eunice MacNaughton-Hippelwhite leant forward

Face down in the shallows, and blew bubbles until her chest hurt,

Just as those German sailors must have done.

Coming in the front door later, sodden,

Eunice explained to the astonished downstairs maid that she had perished at sea,

Then telephoned her friend Cookie,

And was not seen again until Spring.


for One Shot Wednesday


Sara said…
I like this one. Good for
Eunice. She let go
Eunice MacNaughton-Hippelwhite and took her life...where she needed it go:~)
Mama Zen said…
This has so many layers! Fabulous piece of writing, Shay.
Brian Miller said…
excellent shay...imagine it might drive me half batty as well...being respectable and all...all the time...prim proper and all that...hope in spring they do not convert her...
Lynn said…
I'm glad she escaped with Cookie. :) For a time anyway.
This is absolutely perfect! Very impressive writing and I am very happy that you posted it on OWO. What a wonderful surprise
Glynn said…
If Eunice were still alive, I bet she would still be thinking about that kiss from Whitey. I loved this poem.
Ileana said…
Sitting on the couch like ornamental urns...hilarious! Anne Taintor would adore Eunice! :)
Claudia said…
the story of an outbreak - i LOVE it - going new ways, breaking with traditions, deciding to live real life - wonderful Shay!
Bubba said…
I dig this story and I like your style. You've got a new Follower.
dustus said…
Love that flippant moment of curses, and hitting the water... kick-ass creatively, easy to visualize.
Marshy said…
completely different and so refreshing...really enjoyed this...although on a serious side

"Face down in the shallows, and blew bubbles until her chest hurt,

Just as those German sailors must have done."

an underlying darkness that depicted the blasé attitude some people have to the horrors of war that doesnt touch their doorstep...heck maybe i am off the mark...

thanks for sharing with One shot..cheers pete
Anonymous said…
Ahh.. she broke free at long last!
Hope she enjoys her new "life"

A lovely read... and although kinda sad, it finally ended in peace...
Unknown said…
This is post modern modern and I LOVE IT!!! You are an amazing poetess and sharer of stories...I truly cannot get enough.

I love you and thanks for the quick chat today...

Gabi Hipplewhite
TALON said…
Loved it, Shay. I won't pick any particular part I loved, because I loved it all...especially her inflated name and ego.
steveroni said…
Why I do not read you every day I'll never know. This things you write are so imaginative, well-written, and entertaining, and I "see" in there peeps I have known, or sometimes wish to know--or not--grin!

OH! BTW, Gabi Hipplewhite is my daughter from my seventh wife--the WITCH--grin! Hope Gabi is doing well--she was always a bit headstrong, if you know...

YOU know!
Anonymous said…
I loved this so...hope she has a good life!! Your poetry is amazing. Thanks for sharing X
Joanna Jenkins said…
Nice, nice, nice, nice, nice!
Cloudia said…
1927, black and white feature with a seldom noticed appearance by Charlie stars; but the "treatment_ (your post) considered a masterpiece by film scholars.

Aloha from Honolulu :)

Comfort Spiral
signed...bkm said…
I think I love this Eunice Hippelwhite...hope she had fun with Cookie - maybe they did some running around with the Chicago gangsters....bkm
Riot Kitty said…
Sir Basil Coddington Hippelwhite...not a good name to call out in bed!
Kay said…
Good for her! Now I want to own something (probably the next pair of shoes) so that I may name something of mine "Basil". How beautiful is that?

"Hi, my name is Basil" :)

or, for my shoes, "Oh! you like them, I call them Basil" :)

Absolutely love your creative drive, hun! You're very inspiring!
moondustwriter said…
Oh Shay
you rock
as does Eunice - after all enough is enough!!!

thanks for sharing with One Shot

smiles from the Moon
Boonie S said…
I’m assuming that this is a true story, and beautifully recounted if I might say so.
By the way, what does “Blahhhh gah fuckety fuck fuck fuck” mean? I’m not from round these parts so I don't know.
Great post. Thanks for this.

All the best, Boonsong
mac said…
Reading this, I think of all the prisons we lock ourselves into.

Eunice escaped her prison, albeit temporary.
Daryl said…
You are amazing .. I saw this all play out ...

And .. I am in love with Spark Plug
Blue Bunny said…
and to think my jannie akshooly thot bily colins was she favrit poet. oh wel, evin my grate jannie maeks misstakes in life.

wit loves from me

Jannie Funster said…
This is the best poem I have ever read. Even better than ones about poets waving at words from waterskis and beating poems with hoses and such for confessions.

Speaking of which... lol at your "poetry and such like" up top. Cute! I like it a lot. And the cat is awesome.


Now, as to your sidebar button... I think it needs at least 2 other things besides a turquoise butterfly. let me see what I can see when it presents itself to me to see.

xo (again)

Desert Rose said…
this post attracted my attention,i loved the introduction with her name and all..the photo..the story,it is all unique and different,it has a personality of its own..:)
glad to read you shay ..thanks for sharing with one stop..:)
Anonymous said…
Awesome! I just love the rebellious ladies.

Wild Rose said…
Shay i think i visited you before been a while from Talon's anyway, was moved by your piece and it's unique didn't expect to see one as yours. And i loved the rebellious spirit in the ladies as well including the great way you introduced her too.
Mojo said…
I knew a Eunice once. She was very old and lived alone in the apartment next to some friends of mine. I spent New Years Eve of 1978 with her as we both had nowhere to go and no one to go there with in any case.

My Eunice was certainly not hyphenated. But she was very cool.
PattiKen said…
Absolutely loved this. It made me laugh out loud, and cheer for Eunice. Good for her!

Popular Posts