Saturday, December 24, 2005

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"The Raving"

A Mother's Chilling Post-Holiday Tale

By Ellen Meister
(with apologies to Edgar Allan Poe)

Once upon an evening dreary, while I toiled, weak and weary
Over many a desperate dirty dishrag and forgotten chore,
While I leaned down limply lugging toys from off the carpet rugging
Suddenly there came a tugging, tugging at the skirt I wore.
"'Tis some little kid," I muttered, smoothing out the skirt I wore,
"Only this and nothing more."

Ah, distinctly I remember, it was in the bleak December,
Action dolls not yet dismembered lay across the playroom floor.
Each new toy was still unbroken, yet the child still was pokin'
And the only word there spoken was the whining more, "S'more."
This he whispered then his sister murmured back the word, "S'more."
Only this they did implore.

Then the silly, sad, incessant clangor of the season's presents
Chilled me - filled me with fantastic terrors never felt before;
So that now to still the beating of my heart I stood repeating,
"Darling children, I am pleading, let's return some to the store--
Darling children, I'm entreating, let us give some to the poor."
Still they said, "We want s'more."

"You still want more?" I blurted feeling slightly dizzy, my head reeling,
"Get thee back into the playroom where your playthings line the floor!
Go before I need to yank you! Go before I want to spank you!
Leave my kitchen and I'll thank you not to ask for any more.
Take thy sighs from out my sight and thy form from off my door!"
Quoth the child, "I want more."

And the child, so demanding, still is standing, still is standing
Near a portion of my pantry just beside the kitchen door;
And his eyes have all the seeming of a demon's that is dreaming
Sights of toys and trinkets gleaming on the shelves of every store.
Unaffected with respect to his demands for even more,
Quoth I, the mother, "Never more!"

* * *

This poem first appeared in Light Quarterly


katrina said...

Haha!! I remember this fondly, Ellen. Happy Holidays, you ravingly talented woman, you.


Myfanwy Collins said...

I love this so MUCH, Ellen!! Hahahaha!!!


Ellen said...

Thanks Kat and Myf! I wrote this soooo long ago, and it was finally published last year. :)

David V said...

per Hella,we follow the Danish celebration of Christmas the night of the 24th. This little gem arrived right in the midst of a last minute flurry of wrapping and cooking. (Not by me, of course.)Yer so clever, doll!

Nance Knauer said...

what a wonderful holiday treat. ha* and with your new bio picture--lovely!

Ellen said...

Thanks, David. Hope you had a wonderful celebration last! (Did you get anything good?)

Hi Nance! Thank you ... and glad you like that very, er, special picture. Hope you're having a wonderful Christmas today.

Great to hear from you both!

Melanie Lynne Hauser said...

Thanks for steering me this way, Ellen - very funny, and so right! And that's great that it was published after so long - very inspiring!

Ellen said...

Thanks, Melanie. So hard to find a market for a weird little piece like this. Places that print poetry insist their readers aren't mothers, and pubs for mothers insist their audience doesn't read poetry.

I guess this would be a good place for me to pimp Light Quarterly, the highly entertaining little pub that printed it. :)

Patry Francis said...

Hilarious--and so true!

tom said...

very clever, and true as only someone who has experienced it can make it....check out my similar riff on my site...
have a great 2006, and continue enjoying the rug rats...they don't stay little long, as I am sure you are finding out.

Ellen said...

Hi Patry and Tom! Guess you guys relate, eh? Hope you both had wonderful holidays. Thanks for stopping by. :)

AGK said...

Melanie sent me -- I enjoyed it :)

Buter said...

LOL, Ellen. And the picture made me fall from my chair because it is so funny.

Ellen said...

Nice to meet you, Angela! I just read your 100 posts about yourself and loved it. I'm VERY tempted to copy the format. Would that be plagarism? I wouldn't steal your background, I promise.

Hi Daphne! You like that picture? I felt like such a dork doing that, but it was kind of fun.

AGK said...

Ellen, thanks for visiting me and reading about :) A lot of people do the 100 Things thing. So, go for it :)