by Hannah Looney

2B or not 2B – which was her apartment?

It was one of Gertrude’s dreaded theme parties,

Perilously stupid but catered by

Outrageous Fortune and I was not one to miss

Out on an eggroll or a gawk at her new beau.

You wouldn’t expect Great Uncle Paul to have

Made the slog all the way to Bedford Park,

That nest of great evil and incestuous deeds,

Yet there he was, soliloquizing already,

Entitled perhaps by virtue of having borne

So long a life: whips, scorns, you just fucking name it.

Ninety years old and sharp as a briar,

The immortal gent shuffled over with officious

Insolence and gave me the once-over.

“Why the long face?” Ten minutes later it was

“Your generation” this and “Your generation” that;

Something about us being vile copyists

And bastardizing the sentiments of

The old masters.  He had half a mind to ship

Me off to some boarding school in Connecticut.  

“Aye, there’s the grub!” I cried, and coward to the

Last, slunk away to scarf down some wontons.

Then Bodkin and Fardel, attorneys at law,

Rushed in to quiet us down for Gertrude’s toast:

“Apologies for the law’s delay!  Raise your glass

To sleep, to dreams, to the undiscovered country!”

(I finally had a good guess as to the theme.)

The speech failed to move me because speeches never

Move me, but I was puzzled to see that this

Gasconading had brought tears to the eyes of

Jane Simmons-Saxon, now just Jane Simmons, a

Walking calamity ever since her divorce,

When she lost the name of Saxon.  I left.