Monday, February 3, 2014

"i got the black lung, pa" - a poetic narrative

'Twas 3 o'clock last Monday morn
when Jordan stumbled out,
clutching a clean diaper
with a face all full of doubt

that the pain within her tummy
had anything to do
with the feelings that would normally
accompany a poo.

She shuffled toward the couch,
where her wakeful mother lies
these last few weeks in vain attempt
to flippin' ferberize.

And as she crossed the threshold
to the living room - my perch -
I heard that ghastly, loathsome sound
that made me up and lurch

toward Jordan, did I hurry.
Alas it was too late;
the tired gross beige carpet
by now had met its fate

by way of Jordan's insides
spilling out upon it.
Yes, it is of puke and wretched sick
that I now pen this sonnet.

Over hours four and twenty
(that felt a month or more)
Jordan and the toilet
engaged like ne'er before.

(And oh, that is your update
of how potty training's faring.
No big girl panties worn.
No triumphant trumpets blaring.)

It passed. It passed. It finally did -
as stomach flus will do.
But if you are not vigilant,
it'll pass right on to you.

So Tuesday night at half past ten:
here I set my scene.
Having settled nicely into couch,
I felt myself go green.

Most of you don't know me,
so I'll tell you in this breath:
puking tops my Fear List,
beating public speech and death.

I reassured myself
"It's the nightcap that you had.
Though I don't remember So-Co*
ever settling this bad."

*Southern Comfort & Ginger Ale. Never again.

I stalled for fifteen minutes;
'twas the longest I could hold.
I braced for the inevitable
and off the couch I rolled.

I tip-toed to the bathroom
(if Wes woke up, I'd die.)
and back and forth I went
as the gruesome night slipped by.

A couple things I noticed
from my stint on tiled floor:
toilet hinges look like goal posts,
so is throw up, like, a score?

And I think I like my hair
parted better on the left.
Which I never would've known
had hair-gathering not been deft.

Third, I glom to lyrics
that narrate my situation;
just one line ran over as
I manned my porcelain station.

(It was The National
that sang my plight, so dire
as I "live[d] half awake
in a Fake Empire.")

The flu has since abandoned
this apartment in the 'burbs.
I cling to hope that no one else
it seeks out to disturb.

I've met my throw-up quotient
for a decade at the least...
This has been the story
of Pansy and the Beast.

scot free
(therefore embarrassing photo publish sans permish.)


  1. Ha! Wow, this was amazing. I don't even want to know how long this took you. I am glad you are better...and I love that song by The National.

    1. The kids gifted me great naps yesterday and I used it to write poetry instead of clean my home.
      The good. I know more lyrics to that song, but those were the only ones going through my head because I was just feeling sorry for myself :)

  2. Haha! Wow. I have never been good at poetry so I am super impressed by you.

    I'm glad that it has passed.
    I hope your good health lasts.
    I'm trying to rhyme,
    but I'm not taking enough time.
    To make it sound good.
    But I'm glad you found a way new way to part your hair.
    Okay, bye.

  3. You are quite the talented poet!! So sorry you guys were sick but at least you've penned a nice poem to remember it by! :)

  4. Excellent one, Jess! Sorry it hit your house.

  5. I'm so sorry you were sick (I'm afraid of vomit as well) but I love this post.

  6. Woman. I loved it. You are such a wonderful writer.

  7. This is fantastic. "So is throw up, like, a score?" had me giggling in the middle of my otherwise silent office.