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.
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