Sunday, November 10, 2013

I waited for you

I waited, wearing the pink dress,
which should tell you how young I was,
how soft I was,
when I began.

When you're up to your eyeballs in estrogen,
you'll do things no sane person would ever do--
you wait your turn.
You hold your tongue.
You stand there and cry boohoo,
but your hair stays nice and that's something.

You see, I wanted to look good for you,
should you ever arrive.
I wanted to smell nice, too--
not like the usual napalm and pancakes one finds
in the trailer park
or the bus station.

I waited, patient as a saint.
Thinking me one, little boys beheaded me,
set me on fire,
ran me through,
and denounced me as a sorceress,
but I was just a girl
waiting.

An old woman came and cleaned my dusty eyes with a pungent cleaner
sprayed onto a rag made from the Pharaoh's robes.
After that, I saw how it was--
you were never going to show.
Oh sure, you kept sending pigeons with little messages tied to their legs,
but never anything substantial.
You never picked up the rotary phone in the warden's office
to talk dirty to me.
Not once.

Now, 
I hear from our spies that you've fallen on hard times.
I hear that your lips are turning black and curling off,
for lack of kisses.
Believe me, I know all about heartache and I'll be there
as soon as I see a dinosaur
driving a Deusenberg
and singing "Sonny Boy" in blackface.
Until then,
you can wait for me.
________

art: The Forgotten Expectation by Mark Worrall

for Real Toads mini-challenge.  

28 comments:

Björn said...

I love how the small details adds reality to the story.. the single word warden is a key in your tale.

Heaven said...

I like how you set the scene for the waiting, then the awakening and realization that nothing is going to happen. The turnaround in the waiting is revenge best served cold (as you say) ~

Thanks for writing this lovely piece Shay ~ Happy weekend ~

Robert Bourne said...

revenge and patience walk hand in hand...you set the scene perfectly...

Kathryn said...

Love how this evolves and the turn around in the end.

hedgewitch said...

The picture's demure maiden in her surreal surroundings totally suits your foray into the past, into the old faces and masks that it takes decades for us to realize were even there, that others wore, that others put on us, that we donned ourselves. I love the napalm and pancake line, and the messages on pigeon legs, especially, for adding such neatly improbable realism to it all. Fine writing, Shay, and very trippy.

TexWisGirl said...

ouch! but lots of great imagery...

Sumana Roy said...


'but I was just a girl
waiting.'...lovely sketch in details and a twist in the end....

Susan said...

Beautifully complete take on the history of women as we know it! And the fish never needed the bicycle and proactive presents and futures are possible.

myinnerchick.com said...

**I waited, wearing the pink dress,
which should tell you how young I was,
how soft I was,
when I began.**

Love that first verse.

love. love. love.

Kerry O'Connor said...

I'm amazed that we both played the waiting game, albeit with different images. The artist does seem to capture that sense so well in many of his paintings. I love the way you portrayed the wait from youth until old age, through persecution and personal revelations and turned the tables in the end.

howanxious said...

Very well expressed... the desolateness of waiting, the sight of realization and the exactness of revenge. Really liked your imagination here. :-)

-HA

Sherry Blue Sky said...

Such a contrast between the lovely waiting and the too-late ending. Great writing, as always!

Mama Zen said...

I just love the entire thing. Every line. Wow.

Sioux said...

As is ALWAYS the case, you wow me, Shay.

Another f'ing day I'm jealous of your talent...

Helen said...

So good ... unreal good.

Other Mary said...

Been there. Wish I could say "done that" with the style as you have. Love it!

HermanTurnip said...

Chicken and waffles is so last week. Napalm and pancakes is where it's at!

Dig the vibe with this piece. Curious if you were inspired by the picture, or was the picture found after the poem was complete? Either way, great job!

Susie Clevenger said...

I hate waiting..especially for one who promises, but never arrives...love how you ended it...

awakenedwords said...

turning the tables can be the best revenge...quite the tour of time and travesty.

TALON said...

This is a heartbreaker, Shay. And, yes, those that keep us waiting have to pay a price.

Grandmother (Mary) said...

There's so much here- the anticipation, the disappointment, the self-awareness and the limit setting- made all the more unforgettable by the surrealism. Terrific.

Lynn said...

Waiting is just the worst - you capture it beautifully.

Margaret said...

Charming first verse - one can't help but like her, and then it slowly builds, empathy (those mean little boys), so grateful for the old woman's kindness. Yet,
the bitterness in the end is heart wrenching - She has become what caused her so much pain….

myheartslovesongs.com said...

that's telling him!!!

totally cracked up at ~

"I wanted to smell nice, too--
not like the usual napalm and pancakes..."

where do you come up with these ideas? i think i've gone from wanting to spend time in your mind to being afraid ~ very afraid ~ of even the thought of such a thing!

grapeling said...

brilliantly wry, tart, but also tender and funny ~

Lolamouse said...

You know what they say about revenge being best when served cold-brrrr.

C.C. said...

This is a great post. The voice is so original and strong. I love it!

Buddah Moskowitz said...

Excewent, shay. Great details and action. Esp liked "your lips are turning black and curling off,
for lack of kisses."