April 9, 2009

Poetry Friday: Keeping Secrets and The Old Irish Cemetery

This poem, which a friend shared with me many, many years ago
is one I find very clever and so very true --

Keeping Secrets

First I put it gently in an envelope in my back pocket,
but it grew bulky, and sitting on it was uncomfortable for both of us.
So I got a bag, one of those that kee
ps a quart of ice cream cold,
and kept it there until it st
arted to swell and leak,
and the bottom fell out of the bag.
Next I tried a freezer bag with a twist tie,
but they're transparent.
I knew I needed something bigger and stronger,
so I got a shopping bag, with handles,
and carried it around with me.
That was ok, but my friends all asked me what w
as in the bag and got angry when I wouldn't tell them.
So I got a carton at the
liquor store and stuck it behind the door of my office.
That worked for a while, but it got obstreperous,
complained all day, insisted on atte
ntion when I was trying to work.
I took to leaving it in the back seat of the car,
but it didn't think much of that either, sulked and chewed up the upholstery.
One afternoon on the way home it mooned a state trooper
out of spite I suppose.
Christ! I could have been arrested.
I built a room onto the garage and brought it breakfast, lunch, and dinner,
plumped its pillows and let it do the Sunday crossword puzzle.
You think it
appreciated that?
Fat chance.
The last straw came when it kicked in the wall,
occupied the garage,
refused to let me put the car away,
and picked me up and put me
gently in an envelope in its
back pocket.

-- Bruce Petersen

* * * * *

I'm thinking about secrets today, because of an incident at the Old Irish Cemetery -- St. Joseph's -- where I usually walk Cooper.

We were there today near the little hill where the winter mortuary used to be. Cooper ran over to greet a man we were just about to pass -- the guy had pulled up near where we were walking at the back part of the cemetery.

He was out of the car and stretching -- 6'2", about 38 years old or so, and handsome in that windblown way some preppy lawyers cultivate --longish dark hair streaked with a little gray, suit pants, but not jacket and a rumpled (but not too rumpled) chambray button-down shirt. There was a combination of charm and good looks about him that most intelligent women recognize and avoid just because you know there's going to be trouble down the road.

Cooper ran over to greet him, and just as he
reached down to pat him, I saw the heavy gold wedding ring.

I knew right away he was there for a tryst.

Sure enough, not ten steps after I passed him,
a blue Toyota pulled past us driven by an extraordinary woman -- long brown hair, flawless skin, and an open, smiling face -- absolutely beautiful. She smiled at me and Cooper as she passed, but it was clear she only had eyes for this blueblood. She must have been all of 26 years old.

Cooper and I kept walking. For a while they were out of the car -- that's about all I could tell without wal
king backward and staring. Eventually I heard a car door close, and I could see they were now both in the Toyota.

I usually do a couple of turns around the cemetery, and I considered not walking my usual route past them, but I then I thought -- what the hell? Why should I change my plans? It wasn't like I'd be staring through the car window at them -- my path was taking me about 30 feet away.

As a general rule, you don't see married couples canoodling in cemeteries. Trust me. I know these things. I've walked this cemetery just about every day for the past two years, and it's about the sixth illicit liaison I've happened upon. These two were making out like teenagers.

Generally, these things don't bother me because I'm not particularly judgmental. Cheating to me is not a moral issue --it's a fairness issue.
I was bothered by this, however. I wanted to dope slap them both.

Instead, other little imaginings presented themselves. Maybe I'd tap on the car window and tell them -- in no uncertain terms, of course -- to leave the holy ground. That made me laugh -- that's what eighty-five year old women do.

Then I though about how fun it would be to just stand five feet away from the drivers' side. And just stare. That made me laugh, too. That's what crazy people do.

I wondered ho
w long it would have taken them to notice me standing there claiming to not be passing judgment.

In the end, I just kept walking. They left when they saw me making my way past their parking spot for the third time.

Ha! At least I got in my 10,000 steps for today.

Today's Poetry Friday is being hosted by Carol over at her corner



I love the box person picture! Nice musing on faithfulness and fairness. My, you are getting old! ;-)

The Fabulous Sheree Burlington said...

They'll be back. The child in me, the one who cares about fairness, wants you to tape a nasty note to the back of her car. The adult in me knows it won't change anything. The stalker in me wants to follow him back to the office & tell his co-workers. The stranger in me, the part I've never understood, wishes I was the woman in the blue car.

I'm Jet . . . said...

Good one, Sheree. I wondered if it pissed me off because I was wishing I were that woman. That man is good-lookiing trouble, for sure, but maybe I could do with a little trouble like that . . .

Not old, Diane. Just cranky.


Anonymous said...

I like the post. To answer the question you left about how to insert a link, it takes a wee bit of HTML coding. You use an opening parenthesis that is the "less than" sign: <, then type a href="__", then close the bracket with >. In between the quote marks should be your post's identifying information (the url).

It would look kinda like this < a href="http://kellyrfineman.livejournal.com/">, but without the space between the left bracket and the letter "a".

Andromeda Jazmon said...

Kelly did a much better job of explaining that than I did!

I don't know what I would do in your situation - all your ideas would occur to me and I would probably feel just as stubborn about not giving up my walk. But I would be embarrassed to keep walking past them. I think I would be angry to have to share "my" cemetery. LOL!

I like the secret poem very much. Isn't that just the way.

Mary Lee said...

Ugh! In a cemetery! Good for you for walking on!

Jet said...
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Jet said...
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