A Rescue Plan for the Woman who Lays in Bed Whining

Tyra would not get out of bed on her thirtieth birthday
or let me celebrate with her in any way
although she left the door open so I could let myself in
she tucked the blankets into all her edges
including her feet, with only her face bare
stubborn and grimacing

I tried to untuck her for a tickle into laughter
but she had armed herself against that favored tactic
I told her I would buy anything she wanted
or that she could buy it herself
because she was so much more successful than me
–nothing.

Then I huffed up my frustration and almost turned away
I muttered, Well, you’ll have to give up
And keep me company anyways
Because all of the idiots are going to do stupid things
And start dying off around this age

She didn’t say she didn’t care or cry or moan
so I looked over at her to find my reward
that she was grinning, so that was what worked
she slowly dressed and let me take her out
for dinner and dessert

now I refuse to answer my boyfriend
because I am thirty and unlike Tyra
spend almost all my time sleeping
so he prompts me with the baby voice
he uses to represent our puppy
a voice I could never argue with

and says, I have one hero, my mommy!
Oh really, Grendel. Why is that? Mommy hasn’t ever
accomplished anything but giving you belly rubs
and making you dog food omelets.
Not true, mommy! You saved me three times!
Really?
Yes.

The time there was a price on my head
You saved me from the Russians in Lynn
Who kept me in a cage and lied about my heritage
as if being a purebred would make me worth more than I already am
you saw past my knotted hair, bad breeding and ill manners
and paid an exorbitant price for me, always saying I was worth every penny

then at the dog park, when that scary dog put me in his mouth
and shook me while I screamed and bled
and all the other pet owners stood stunned
you ran past them, punched that dog in the mouth
and rushed me off to the hospital
where you held my paw and sang me songs

and then when our house burned down
you picked me up before you even put your shoes on
and carried me out snuggling my nose into your jacket
to protect me from smoke inhalation
and cooed to me so I wouldn’t be frightened
and rubbed my feet so they wouldn’t be as cold
as your own feet were getting, bare against the snow

you have done way more for me
mommy, than Tyra could ever have dreamed
of doing good for anyone by the time she was thirty
so how is she more successful than you, again?
I don’t know, I answered, but I’m feeling hungry
so I got up smiling, and dressed slowly for our dinner party

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Unfinished Business

So long as I am living my ears will perk up

whenever your name is mentioned

and I used to hate it, I considered moving

staying in, killing you off

i’ve thought about your death alot

i’ve come to terms with your mortality

better than you have, probably

except that I don’t know

how long you’ll live

but by the time

one of us is gone for good

I wonder if I’ll miss it

my failure to launch

with you has rendered me

some mystery, some meaning

Couldn’t you have left this on voicemail?

When was the last time

you had to break eye contact

because you were struggling not to cry?

I’ll tell you mine:

 

He said, “This is your performance review.

I want to say, right off the bat,

that I like you. I think you’re cute.

But you’re just too stupid for us to hire

at the moment. However, I’m going to add

that I think you could have a future

in lawn mowing if you really set your mind to it.

Thanks anyways

“The next step for you will be to get a literary agent.” My teacher says,

“That’s sweet,” I say, guzzling down the beer he bought me

at ten in the morning, “But I haven’t written anything yet.”

“Oh,” he says, “But you’ve written for my class.

You’ve written at least a memoir already.”

I finish the beer while noticing

he’s barely touched his lemonade

“No,” I say, “I haven’t,”

and get my things to leave.

The Sweetest Things

I lay in bed, depressed again

but am i really depressed

or hot with the sad

of watching things end

i dont know so i try

watching worse things

 

i watch top ten banned celebrities

and plastic surgery fails

and the one actor who ruined everything

the shows that were cancelled

based on one misdeed

 

but just because the majority

has deemed these missteps

as catastrophes doesn’t mean

they failed. Maybe, right now

someone is kissing those horrible

silicone filled lips

and through them come

whispers of the sweetest things

Free feedback, no reciprocation required

I give feedback, i read manuscripts

all the while thinking

one negative comment

could lead to a thoughtful

reflection on where

the reader is coming from

that is to say, me

 

i wait to hear

yes, ill consider it. by the way,

how is your relationship going

with that boyfriend you broke up with?

how is the career

you jumpstarted that is

already dying, or

that book you’ve advertised

as forthcoming-you know,

the one you haven’t written?

How is that coming?

and how does it feel to turn thirty

and truly have nothing?

 

I wait to hear,

maybe you should work on

those things, my dear

where are those

reflections?