Today’s prompt from NaPoWriMo: write “…a poem based in sound. The poem, for example, could incorporate overheard language…”
I sat on the far side of his bench.
He jumped up and bowed, How do you do.
I’m Sir Alfred of Pernessy Park.
But you can call me Uncle Alfred.
I’d find him herding squirrels round the park
or in a happy parade, marching and playing
the cymbals with his hands in his shoes.
He’d hypnotize daisies, offer me tea from
acorn caps. Once, I asked him where he slept.
He said, Curled with pearls in oyster shells.
He’d put on pollen lipstick, sit perfectly
still on his bench with pursed his lips,
wait for hummingbird kisses.
He always greeted me as the Queen and
bade me fond farewells, as broken-hearted Hamlet.
And, above all, be true to yourself.
The last time, Uncle Alfred offered me
a whistle-bouquet of the longest and thickest
blades of grass he could find that afternoon.
If ever you need your Uncle Alfred, just pick
one to stretch taut between your thumbs,
put your lips together and blow.
Deep in need, I went to his bench this evening,
with the perfect blade for a whistle.
No amount sound brought him round; the squirrels
shuddered. Humming birds poked at empty acorn caps.
by Elizabeth Boquet, April 2018