Poem: On the Wings of Discontent

Oh the dull days of summer drag on rather repetitively, even though it's only been a couple of weeks. So, today I wrote the following poem to my sister-in-law, as part of her ongoing informal lyrical "contest"...


I have heard your plans to travel the land
to search for a better life.

Since my lazy days are frittered away,
I thought I’d join you and my wife.

Ireland’s west coast would make a good host,
though Lindsay believes it dull.

Still, a yacht I may hire to sail us to Eire,
and strap her over the hull.

The stormy antics of the North Atlantic
will change her mind right quick,

but I at the wheel, and you cooking meals,
will likely, too, end up sick.

The Ring of Kerry and the mythical fairies
will greet us fair and green

as we disembark and make our mark
there in the land of the Breens.

We’ll travel about until we’re worn out,
and drink has engulfed all plans,

and from Dublin by rail, by tooth and by nail,
we’ll find the isles of Aran.

There Lindsay will knit, trés lickety-split,
the famous fisherman’s sweaters

to rake in tourists’ cash and off I will dash
and pursue a life in letters.

(Next door’s not too far from my vintage fashion star:
with a desk and hot turf fire.)

But sister-in-law, something has stuck in your craw;
something has raised your ire.

Aran has you baffled - no Filene’s or Snapple -
it’s as cold as it can get.

You weren’t meant for fish nor do you wish
to marry a man with a net.

The isles are tiny, in an ocean so briny,
like a single soul in the city.

But you prefer noise and a large pool of boys;
Aran, thus, is without pity.

Your voice becomes loud, and I’m brought from a cloud
of reverie with a bang.

You say, “This isn’t right, I like to always be in sight
of bars and of the gangs

of friends I adore and the job I deplore,
though it was good to have a change.

I’m ready to say ‘Hi’ to my nephew Levi;
this place is giving me mange.”

Lindsay pipes up, after too many cups,
of coffee or Baileys or both,

With a look in her eye that screams out, “Aye,
of your wishes I well knoweth!”

You sisters talk and plan and hide your hand,
while I holler and hoot

about wanting to stay - and if there was a way,
I’d club you both with my boots.

You hold interviews in which you talk to crews
of the best boats in the harbor

And before I can sing out, “John Millington Synge,”
I’m trapped in the galley larder.

I hear rustling and giggling and a lot of niggling
about which girl monitors me,

and I’m kept there with locks as you push off the rocks
and send us sailing back to DC.

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