Thursday, August 9, 2018

Clap-Along Shirley

Here is a piece by Jennifer S. Chesler from Fragments, which is available at this Amazon link.

Clap-Along Shirley, that's who we are; you want more of M: -- she's such a ham. Well, here she is, looking in the mirror doing a jig. Maybe you see her; maybe you don't: try to remember, this isn't a joke. One day we left her, calm as can be, sifting through shells in a sand-sieve clocle. “Clocle” isn't a word; we tell you that now. But it looks like “clock,” and here that's what counts. (We're making this easy so you can see what we said; maybe you won't read this until after we're dead.) The vowels were long; no diphthongs would do. Maybe you think these phonics aren't for you. Phonics aren't for everyone, but that doesn't mean they go away. We wanted a rhyme to follow the house, something snazzy to wear with our blouse. But sometimes fashion isn't what you make of it; it makes something of you. Sure, most people would say it's a two-way street, but not when you want a hasty retreat! Cuts and stumps -- they took all of who I am. Who? The characters Fortune sent our way. No surrey bob, our carriage came a tappin'. We spotted a waiter bringing some bread: “Leave it in the basket, or we'll tie you up dead.” M: got the rope and looped some simple knots. That sure got him; he was off in a flash. Next time we saw him he was paying us the cash. There was my mirror, glinting with gold, reflecting my features, not leaving me cold. But someone who wrote this doesn't live anymore. I took her away and put her to rest, gave her something to read, which was not her only request. The pills didn't take long, one hour tops; then, nothing, a word like “so” at best.