Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Conversation Overheard in Downtown Hood River

"and he ran away from home for two days..."
"so at least he was smart enough to find his way back..."
"except instead of coming to the front door he was on the roof..."
"the
roof?"
"on the roof all night in the pouring rain..."


and he wailed, wet-faced
lean and matted, clinging to the ridgepole.
She stood in the yard banging his food dish
with a spoon: "Here, here, good boy!
Tasty Niblz!" Strident ringtone
from her breast pocket: a neighbor's voice:
"Can't you shut that beast up?"
Tires hissed in the wet street until he
jumped down, wild-eyed, jaws clenched
around the unheard cries of
a little brown bat.

Collection available! Knocking from Inside

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

from Therese B. at RWP -- I greatly admire the strategy of this piece. You present the piece in two parts, clearly differentiated: the overhead dialogue, and the poet's imagining. You also craft the piece to remind readers that overhearing any snatch of dialogue can generate misunderstandings: I, as reader, assumed at first that the "he" was human, but the poet's work later made me question my assumption. Very well done.

Michelle Johnson said...

I too thought it was a human on the roof but as I continued to read it made me realize it was something else entirely. Great writing. Hope all is well.

briarcat said...

It's a neat piece, and I like the poor little bat's unheard cries.
Strident ringtone's good. I have trouble labeling incoming cellphone calls.
It did take me several tries to work it out, though. It may be the word "clinging" that throws me off.

caroleesherwood said...

i like how you've imagined the setting/scenario beyond the conversation. that's a great strategy for the prompt -- and a necessary one with poetry -- going just one step (and another step) beyond ...

Mark said...

This is nothing short of brilliant.

So well and cleverly crafted...