This week's poetry prompt comes from Kate of the Emerging Writers blog.
One of the prompt choices was L'esprit d'escalier. This is a French term I've run into before. It means "the spirit of the staircase", but really it's the moment you think of the Crushing Comment that you would have made, except the moment is gone already. (Oh! I should have said that!) but too late.
So, poor Grandma. She's in for another poetic slam today. However, she was also a fun lady much of the time. This is not a revenge poem--it's the Esprit d' Escalier. No going back to fix this one.
you have to have a man for this
Amid a trendy traffic, my cousin Angel admires
We live by design: me in fashion, and Angel, graphics.
Grandmother’s pleased we have such passions. She’s
With us too, and fairly doting. We’re all dressed up
And later lunching: just us girls. Grandma was
Past president of this museum’s Guild. Art is not
The thing that drives her, but without what social
Ladies willed, this building would be dust and stone
So she also feels just right at home.
I’m beguiled by Angel’s exposition, but Grandma’s
Worried over Angel’s dating. And just to take this past the top
Angel broke up with grandma’s pool-boy lately, and this
Is none of Grandma’s business. But in front of comic paintings
Begins a maternal inquisition. When will you marry, Angel darling?
There are men all over as you can see. How about that
Handsome fellow? Now there’s a work of living art.
Her voice has always carried well, and
Angel’s always been so shy. She turns bright red.
The man selected turns his head. He’s standing
In a group of gay. So much for this
Artistic day. If Grandma’s voice is loud enough, her whisper
Carries in the crowd: All you have to do is try.
Angel is about to cry. I intervene:
Grandmother. And she says, What? I only want her
To have a life. It’s so much better as someone’s wife. Angel flees
Under the attack. I glare and say I’ll be right back.
That night, I am still seeing red. Right before we go to bed,
My husband says, You should have laughed
Said you and Angel would find some cuffs
So Grandmother could get her stuff.
Then you and Angel could enjoy the art
And Grandmother some lesser part.