Fifth Grade Poetry

One Saturday when I was 10, my mother took me to Sunset Plaza to have lunch with one of her friends.  There, I sat sipping lemonade after lemonade and eavesdropping on everyone’s conversations–at least those within earshot.  When I came home, I wrote the following poem.

In retrospect it makes me laugh.  I got some details so right, like men trading in their wives for newer models.  But I also got some details so wrong, like a woman ever forgetting she signed a prenup!

Still, I love this poem mostly because it proves I’ve always been obsessed with the dynamics of romantic relationships.  Of lust and love and financial loss.  A friend of mine who writes young adult literature once described my fiction as “Jackie Collins on Pixy Sticks.”  This poem is the earliest and best example of that.

L.A. Women

I’m sick of women in faux minks doing lunch and talking about their shrinks.

“Oh, dahling!  I went to Gucci the other day,” says the overweight woman whose hair is now platinum not gray.

Chin Chin on Sunset is their stompin’ ground and upon chicken salad they feed like royal hounds.

In their Bel Air mansions they swim whenever they please.  All day long noshing on gourmet crackers and imported cheese.

But while they’re at home eating snacks and getting obese, their husbands are with beautiful women in Paris, Milano, and Greece.

One day this woman’s diarrhea of the mouth and constipation of the brain drives her husband completely insane.

“I’ve had it, you horrible creature.  Shut up!  And don’t you forget I got you to sign a prenup.  I have a 20 year old girlfriend and we’re going to wed.  She looks like Nicole Kidman and yes, we’ve to been to bed.  My attorney is sending you papers; I filed for divorce.  Now get out of my house and take your damn horse!”

This woman runs, jumps, and attacks her husband’s new girl.  Strips her of all clothing; cuts off every rouge curl.

She’s in a straight jacket as cops take her away.

Rotting in a jail cell, she remains today.

No one’s there to listen to her scream.

No one’s there to feed her bonbons with cream.

Once an exquisite creature, now a neurotic mess.

The life of an L.A. woman isn’t that great you must confess.


10 thoughts on “Fifth Grade Poetry

  1. I love that you kept this all these years! I have all of my journals from when I was younger too – this is inspiring me to go dig them up!

  2. Big wow that was 5th grade material! I can’t imagine my same-age daughter being that insightful. Your poem is just plain wicked 🙂 Seems something Steve Martin could narrate as L.A. Story opens.

    I kept a diary from age 8 or so to when my second child was born, which makes for just under 30 years of my thoughts. Nothing profound, though–just boys and crushes etc. They’re embarrassing to read, though I read through one with my oldest not too long ago. There was an entry about my “imaginary boyfriends” and we couldn’t stop laughing. What really put me over the edge was when she asked, “mom, who’s Bo Duke”? How can a whole generation not know who Bo Duke is? We are so old :-0 (please tell me you know who BD is–I think I have a good decade on you, so maybe you don’t?)

  3. You were quite precocious for a 10 year-old lass. I would never have been able to pen anything as perceptive as this, or even close to it. At 10 years of age, I was busy trying to hit a baseball, a skill I never did master. Maybe I should have tried poetry, after all. 🙂

    • John, I couldn’t hit a baseball either. I was terrible at all sports. I played soccer, but only for the personalized hair ribbon. I was a competitive figure skater though. But that was it. I was also terrible at any kind of traditional art. There was an introductory art class all the girls at my school had to take when age 12. My teacher told me not everyone was artistic in the same way and that perhaps I should try creative writing or drama. Bless.

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