I Am No Genie
I don't know about prose poems. I have never been a fan. I like the brevity of poetry, the slim lines, the paring down of weighty, worthless words, the sharp images. Of course, I like Mary Oliver's prose poems. I feel like I am getting more of her wisdom, the more words there are.
But still, I am not a fan. I had a prose poem I wrote last Fall for an on-line poetry course, but even that, looking back on it and considering it for posting, left me cold. Sorry, poem. I love you, but, I'm just not that into you. That said, I did try to write a new one. It meanders. I have the urge to cut, cut, cut. And, not only that, no matter how I try, it doesn't show up properly on my blog. The line ends are all wrong! But, for now, I will let it fly. Fly little poem with seventeen million wings. Don't get bogged down...
I Am No Genie
A genie dressed in green silk robes slid out of my oven on a flaming gingham potholder. Paralyzed by the intoxicating aroma of chicken divan, the girl magician stood immobile on the edge of a wooden spoon. Before my very eyes, she dove into the casserole, offered herself up for an early evening feast.
Because they would not understand inadequacy, mommy-guilt or mommy testing her new bottle of acting tears, I tell my children the story of the flying kitchen genie.
But, alas, I am no genie, and it is just me, the mommy, perched atop my flat-top stove
waving a ladle at the radio, that harbinger of today’s disaster. The radio, squat, blue boom box that just informed me I have been feeding my family poison peanut butter,
a little Salmonella spread to go with their fluff and crustless bread.
You try and try to do right by your family, fill them full of vitamins and minerals,
steam the broccoli, deep six the fryer, broil the free-range chicken. Weekly, daily, minute by sticky minute, you send healthy lunches and sugar free snacks. Cushion the goods, nestle them among paper napkin love notes, written in Permanent marker.
All this, only to have an invisible voice looming behind an invisible finger pointing directly at you, chastising, accusing, sealing your family’s doom more airtight than Goldfish in Ziploc. Their fate, their gastrointestinal distress lies in your sticky hands.
It wasn’t like I bought it from some mustached door-to-door salesman. I went to the market, to market, to market, on a Monday like every other good mother. My steady hand passed over crunchy, full fat, most salt, tossed low-salt, low-fat right into the cart.
Oh, I try and try, and now, children, I think I will pull my hair high into a ponytail, drape a veil over my face, nod my head once, wrinkle my nose, and order some organic peanut spread on-line. Presto magic-o. Abracadabra. A-la peanut butter sandwiches!