17 November 2009

November 09 Poem A Day Challenge: Day 15

November 2009 PAD Chapbook Challenge: Day 15

From Poetic Asides
"For today's prompt, I want you to write a hanging poem. There are a lot of things that can hang (some a bit more gruesome than others). You can hang clothes, pots and pans, pictures, and other inanimate objects; there's, of course, the kind of hangings that end lives; or you can even leave someone hanging (as Tammy pointed out to me). So, I'm not going to leave anyone hanging anymore today."

(Why yes, I know the poem appears here a few days late. I do operate on my own antiquated time line, why do you ask?)

Hangman High
Constance Brewer

Back in school we played hangman on wide-ruled
paper while waiting for lunch or the next class to start.
Always in pencil, never in ink, not even the noose.
I always thought of Western movies and the grim
carpenter who sawed and hammered the squared-off
gallows together. He could have cut corners, after all
the hangee would never know if the trapdoor was plumb.
Like a coffin maker, the man was a perfectionist.
A good job was a good job no matter what the end
intention. It paid well. I drew my platform
with hard, ninety degree angles,
overhead beam sturdy, fresh timbers
parallel to blue ruled lines.
My rope had thirteen scribbled
turns and an extra-wide loop.
I think I hoped my drawn
culprit would wiggle free
at the last moment,
and save me
the painful knowledge
it was my inability
to guess
the right letter
that caused
his untimely


Anonymous said...

You did seem to have a fascination with the Old West when you were young...

Constance Brewer said...

So is it coincidence I live in Wyoming now??

Hey, you always sent my Johnny West's out on missions with your GI Joes... and they never came back!

Anonymous said...

"They Were Expendable"!

Constance Brewer said...

I wasn't that upset... until the horse, Thunderbolt, went on a one way mission!

Remember parachuting them down the clothesline? I'm sure Mom wondered why all her clothespins kept disappearing...

(You know how much those darn toys are worth now days?!)

Nonny Moose said...

Johnny and Joe are living in San Fran now... Joe is retired from the military ("Don't ask, don't tell" got the best of him eventually, and he was honorably discharged.) Johnny has a lucrative business making runway couture for Barbie and friends.

Constance Brewer said...

Nonny Moose - LOL Who knew?? LOL That was great, thanks for the update! :)

Dare I ask about his sister Jane West, and Chief Fighting Eagle?

Nonny said...

Thunderbolt, Jane and Fighting Eagle joined a religous commune near Sedona, AZ. It all went bad in the early '80s - FE ended up in long term rehab, Jane ran off with Pacifist Dove and hit the talk show curcuit with their controversal tell all. Johnny created many of Jane's wardrobe essentials that led to her own marketing career with Target. Thunderbolt had a near miss with Purina and lived out his years in Utah at an animal sanctuary.

Constance Brewer said...

Nonny - I think you need to start writing for the soaps! :) You see what my brother threw away when he cleaned? Or was he just trying to save me from these overly-active action figures??

A Moo said...

I can actually vouch for Anon, when he cleaned out 21, I was vigilant for "heirlooms" he might misconstrue as tossables. The only thing I recall yanking from the pile of the doomed was a shocking blue, v neck trumpet sleeve poly top that belonged to... ehem... Anon.... It was "apparently" part of his stage apparel. Ah, the great stories that top could tell!

Constance Brewer said...

Yeah, but problem is, he threw all that out BEFORE he met you. Ask him about my baseball cards, and a certain Nolan Ryan rookie card. *g*

Dad told me he had a good Thanksgiving dinner. Thanks for giving him a turkeyless meal. :)

Annie Moss said...

Hey, speaking of holiday meals.. well sort of, that invite is still open to you, young lady! Anon assembled the new daybed (ok, technially it is 6 months old - it sat in a box in the garage since June) over the weekend, and it is just waiting for a slumbering guest...hint, hint. Offer is open to visiting Corgis as well!

Constance Brewer said...

Nonny- (moss!) if it wasn't winter, I might contemplate driving. Not sure how the Corgis would deal with that. But flying? too expensive, too annoying, too crazy inducing right now...