The late 1990s. A family function
at Uncle Bobby's. Some elderly widow,
no kin of mine and nobody familiar,
pumped me for my life-story. Twenty-nine,
I proffered. Married? she asked. No.

Twenty-nine and not married!
she sneered to her graying daughter.
I think she might have even said, O-ho!

If the woman had been thinking,
here's a good match for my Cindy,
she'd have made some pleasant joke
to that effect. But no. Her tone
said something else.

My mother was sitting next to me
but didn't catch the implication.
Still, her presence restrained me
from answering the old biddy
with venom. Had Dad been nearby
instead of remembering the old days
amid my gathered uncles,
he'd have bluntly asked the woman
what the hell she meant by that.

Years after the exchange, I recalled
that President Kennedy was thirty-six
before he married Jackie.

Dear Mrs Quizzybody,
you're probably in your grave now.
May your purgatory be long and hot.
And by the way, fifty-one. Still not married.
Make of that what you will.

Poetry by Thomas D The PoetBay support member heart!
Read 216 times
Written on 2020-06-29 at 14:42

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F.i.in.e Moods The PoetBay support member heart!
Wow, how rude! Plus, what on earth? Sounds like she somehow used marriage as a scale to measure a person... but measure what specifically? It sounds so ridiculous. Married or not, it makes not a blind bit of difference (as my douce moitié says it).

This is written so very well. Really felt brought in through each step of this unpleasant, and strange, encounter. I felt a little disappointed though that the context didn't permit an opportunity to challenge her stupid comments. That part is always a little annoying when it happens. I've been through a few moments in similar context (also I'm super shy), and that's the main part that lingers the most after the fact, I think. Don't know if it's the same for you. Anyway, a lot of emotions in this one, vraiment bon - merci.