Sandy

Sandy put a wedge of lemon in the corner of her eye
so that she might seem more exotic.
Informed of this, the warden had her taken
out of gen pop and placed on risperidone and light tasks such as
arranging
her origami family figures
across 
her 
desk
in order of which she loved best down to least.

The thing about Sandy is that she took elocution lessons
in order that she might curse more clearly
at her celly and the matrons.
The more florid her language became, 
the more she sounded like a potty-mouthed Helen Mirren.
The warden was forced to remove Sandy's tongue and hide it
high on a shelf in her office
where onyx birds
sang songs from pyrite throats
all about which of her inmates she loved most, down to least.

Finally, Sandy and the warden came to an understanding
which involved a Catholic bishop and a solemn promise by Sandy 
not to cuss anymore.
"I shan't," she said,
assuming Helen Mirren's place in the warden's roster of recoveries
and walking straight out of the women's pen into origami domesticity
where black birds fold their wings 
into Oriental characters
depicting the most amazing transformations from best down to least

with Sandy's at one extreme end like an egg or a bomb or a glitter ball.
_______

for Get Listed at Toads. I used onyx, lemon, elocution, shelf(ves), risperidone, and warden.


Comments

said…
Right off the bat, I have to picture this as being about a post-Grease Sandy. :)

"and light tasks such as
arranging
her origami family figures
across
her
desk" ... laffin so hard over this

"in order that she might curse more clearly
at her celly and the matrons" ... lol, you do make me giggle, girl (love the use of "celly")

"The warden was forced to remove Sandy's tongue and hide it
high on a shelf in her office" ... Smart move!

"onyx birds
sang songs from pyrite throats" ... This is beautiful (I love it), deceptively so, as pyrite is fool's gold. How "Little Mermaid" this twisted prison scene is looking.

I really like this part: "came to an understanding
which involved a Catholic bishop and a solemn promise"

Love: "walking straight out of the women's pen into origami domesticity"

Gorgeous: "where black birds fold their wings
into Oriental characters"

Flipping fantastic ending: "like an egg or a bomb or a glitter ball" ... Love love love the glitter ball. :)

You know I dig it the most --- thanks for writing such a fab "pseudo-recovery" poem and making me chuckle so much. You are ever the pro.

Say, did you watch American Horror Story, Asylum? If so, do you remember the wife whose husband put her away in an asylum to get "fixed"? After shock therapy, she came home completely transformed (wanting to do nothing but clean, cook, and smile); her husband couldn't have been more in love with her. That's what this reminds me of.
Kerry O'Connor said…
I want to be Helen Mirren when I grow up!
This takes me back to some of your earlier narrative poems, which I love so much. You have the subtle blend of the cynical saint's voice down to a T.
Off to fold an origami crane...
Revived Writer said…
Haha, this is creative!
hedgewitch said…
As always your study here in character and fate is layered and mysterious as the heart itself, full of folds and the ambiguity of hollow-boned birds. I can see the line of best to least very clearly, an ordering that is almost unconscious, our response to others so unknowable,uncontrollable and difficult to change. I rejoice that there is freedom, even if it is only the freedom of paper birds, the glitterball wisdom of escape, at the close.
Debi Swim said…
As Kerry said, "You have the subtle blend of the cynical saint's voice down to a T." The older I get I seem to become more cynical. Is that a good thing or not?
brudberg said…
This made me remember the movie Francis, such a harrowing plunge into mental institutions..

Maybe it's all about making you complacent and dull.

Many many great descriptions.
tonispencer said…
"where black birds fold their wings
into Oriental characters" I love this line. And I want to be Helen Mirren when I grow up...if I ever do. Your character studies are so full of layers and nuance.
Sherry Blue Sky said…
Gotta love a poem with Helen Mirren and black birds......i love the arranging of people from best liked to least. Lol. That would be a fraught exercise.
Margaret said…
You are the best at character poems... I see them as if in a movie. The details are fascinating ... the arranging of the origami family, cursing more clearly (ha), and the Catholic bishop/solemn promise. And the ending a bomb or a glitter ball - Love!
This is a creative masterpiece, Shay!
Susie Clevenger said…
"The thing about Sandy is that she took elocution lessons
in order that she might curse more clearly
at her celly and the matrons." Love this! A potty mouthed Helen Mirren...Oh, I wish I could sound like that, a proper lady of the nasty tongue. Goodness, you always wow me with your writing!