Jake, old friend, relic of a rake,
dropped in and occupied our couch
to catch off-Broadway plays
during our Manhattan days.
Friend of my folks, fan of my mom’s music,
I inherited him along with
scrapbooks my sisters didn’t want
and the extra odd silver that didn’t match.
Always fun visits at first, but then
there was the eventual price we’d pay
for his monthly long-weekend stay.
Did I mention his death-rattle breath?
He never picked up the tab, even for coffee.
His girth shattered a rung on my prized
rocking chair inherited from Jeffery and
seriously challenged the shocks on my Fiat.
Boy, oy, ready the clothespins for the kicker:
He never got over living in postwar Germany.
Or maybe he was simply too damned cheap
to buy soap and shampoo. Eeeeeeew.
My olfactory senses may never recover
from Eau du Jake, the scent that made
neighbors complain. If he’d actually smelled
like fish, it might have been an improvement.
© 2012 Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil
For Trifecta, which asked us to recount our personal Monty Wooleys – guests who overstay their welcome and begin to “smell like fish,” literally or figuratively!
July 15, 2012 at 12:02 am
Great! I’m almost afraid to ask – is this a true story?
July 15, 2012 at 2:38 pm
if we ever put a rock band together, Death Rattle Breath should be our first single
July 15, 2012 at 3:27 pm
True r not it makes a good entry for the challenge.
July 15, 2012 at 10:12 pm
Oh my goodness! It would be tempting to move and provide no forwarding address. I hope this is fiction, but it feels like it could actually be true…so sorry if it is 🙂
Madeleine Begun Kane
July 16, 2012 at 3:10 am
Yikes. That’s really good, albeit disturbing. 🙂
July 16, 2012 at 8:44 am
Ben Franklin would have loved you:-) I love how you tied the relative inheritance with the scrapbooks and odd silver. Well crafted as usual!
July 17, 2012 at 9:21 am
Some people are heavy and unwanted..even if not literally large..the idea of inheriting someone and feeling dutiful towards them is so well portrayed..it’s strange how some family members seem to adopt this role..and others don’t..Jae (ps hope the apocalypse is moving on)
July 17, 2012 at 10:48 am
ah ‘relic of a rake’ – it is sad when they reach the old roue stage … hey-ho – good poem
July 18, 2012 at 3:39 pm
A pungent write – and dear Ameleh, you’re nominated for an Inspirational blogger award! YAY! http://ihatepoetry.blogspot.com/2012/07/very-inspirational-blogger-award.html
July 18, 2012 at 10:03 pm
Some odd fellas sure exceeded their welcome. A house guest for one day is most welcomed, 2 days, it’s tolerable, 3 days it gets unsettling, 4 days it invited nasty hints from the host. However it has to be done with compassion. For those unfortunate to be deprived in old age need that extra attention. There may be reasons. Nice take Amy!
July 23, 2012 at 5:09 pm
There are some guests we would all rather not have. LOL