Tuesday Poem: ‘Watermelon’ by Michelle Elvy

Old ornery , we call her,
crazy, possessed,
wild orange hair and wandering eye
Lives in the old wood shack, we guess
she must’ve been there
We play who could look the longest
without blinking,
coming home from school
most days I wind up flinching
and Warren wins
But today I fall on the pavement
scrape my knee,
Hurry! Get home! Hurry!
salty tears, muddy hands, scared skinny me
hobbling past her shack
But wait! She’s waving now,
evil eye glowing, frank and knowing
Boy, where you going with that knee?
I want to hide as she beckons me inside
feel fear growing but her eye don’t move
Mothball house, bandaged knee and
not a word spoken.  She cuts watermelon
into small triangles and does not scold me
when the juice drips past my elbows , down, down,
pooling on her polished wooden table,
not once
This poem was first published in the new issue of Blackmail Press (bmp 33, found here). Thank you to Doug Poole et al for including me in this dynamite issue.

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4 Responses to Tuesday Poem: ‘Watermelon’ by Michelle Elvy

  1. gurglewords says:

    Love it Michelle…the perfect portrayal of that odd person most children appear to have known at some time in various guises. Strange how we were afeared of those who turned out to be kinder than many!

  2. BenHur55 says:

    Great poem. We’ve all known the scary eccentric as children, I think. My father used to tell me about Mad Lizzie who prowled the New Plymouth of his childhood and poked people on the bus with hatpins and how she would hang about in these toilets in a park where my Dad and his mates would dare each other to call her out going “Yoo Hoo, Lizzie!” and then they would all bolt as she roared out, chasing them with her faithful hatpin.

  3. pscottier says:

    I suppose these are the eccentric old women who were burnt as witches in the past? So things do sometimes improve.

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