We tend toward verse here at Poetry Sunday, but today we present another poetic form, this time in the hands of a real pro, Maryanne Hannan. Here she makes room for us in a stream of consciousness most of us will recognize while she takes good care to warm us with humor along the way.—Ed.
Everyone, Regardless of Age or Background, Can Learn to Stretch
My neighbor suggested I get my nails refurbished by her manicurist. I’m tempted, but wonder if it’s wise to brave my first manicure with someone named Cricket. She’s probably a little on the jumpy side. I wouldn’t want my cuticles damaged. And what would we talk about? Most Crickets are too young to follow along with me in the best of circumstances, let alone while buffing. An old Cricket might be worse, though, less and less stimuli getting through to her fragile brain. Hardening of the antennae, so to speak. But then she might be like my rapid-reverse program for a nimble mind. Keen as a katydid, I could banter while she spreads her game-changing shellac formula on my squoval-shaped nails. Which reminds me: What if she’s Australian? No conversational home runs likely, in that scenario: sticky wicket’s my limit.
Today my neighbor called, pressing for news. No choice but to confess my predicament. Don’t worry, she said, Cricket’s her stage name. Her real name’s Adeline. Aha! I didn’t realize we’d be on stage. Makes more sense now: I could go as Hopper.
Published with the poet’s permission.
Maryanne Hannan has published other poems from her manuscript, Egg on a Mantel, in print and online journals, including 111O, Gargoyle, Magma, The Mom Egg, Pearl, Pirene’s Fountain, and Sentence. A frequent book reviewer, she is a contributing editor at Cerise Press: A Journal of Literature, Arts and Culture. Her website is www.mhannan.com