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     The Literary Review


Page 20

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Little Things Mean a Lot

Slow and steady,
the old turntable waltzed.
Her favorite chanteuse
sang “Little Things Mean a Lot.”
She never wanted diamonds or pearls.
She liked it when
he blew her a kiss or touched her hair.
Little things meant a lot—
a walk in a park, a love song at night,
a glass of California wine.
She would smile at dogs, feed the stray cats,
let the summer rain soak her to the skin.

Slow and steady,
the old turntable waltzed.
Her favorite chanteuse
sang “Little Things Mean a Lot.”
But she was gone,
and his grief had no place to go.
Her cat kept time with the music,
purring as she rubbed against him.
He blew her a kiss, whispered,
“Kitty, come to Daddy.”
The summer rain
danced without end.

  Patricia Carragon __


Promenade Globe
            © Patricia Carragon: Promenade Globe

Bewitched, Bothered, and Bewildered
(I’ll sing to him, each spring to him -
And worship the trousers that cling to him -
Bewitched, bothered, and bewildered am I
—David Gedge, from the musical, Pal Joey,
sung by Ella Fitzgerald.)

Behind a newspaper,
a fat man in a trench coat
camouflaged his peccadillo
for a pretty damsel
to take a peek.

Neither bewitched by
his slab of meat,
she ignored it.
Momma told her
to keep her mouth shut,
hold on to the pole
until the doors open
at 77th and Lex.

Men weren’t the new sensations,
but after a few beers,
the fine symmetry
hidden in Joey’s trousers
beguiled her.

Being oversexed
had its drawbacks.
Too many pints
covered up his flaws,
and the morning after
gave her a headache.
The right and left sides
of her bed
looked tired—
her wild night left alone
on disheveled sheets.

At work,
she watched his eyes
travel up skirts.
It bothered her,
but men were boys
in snazzy suits.
Genitals ruled
the nature of the male beast.
The lion couldn’t roar
without constant practice
in broken trust.

Over the past few days,
her sleep cycle changed,
thoughts about her pal, Joey,
and the next few years.
Booze had its limitations—
a temporary solution
for her bewildered life.

He lost his job
by the HP printer—
Hormones on overtime
with the boss’ secretary.
He couldn’t pay his rent
and demanded to stay
for a night or two.
His attitude,
less than charming.

She refused,
slammed the door
in his face.
Her body and heart,
antiseptic from wisdom,
learned from mistakes.

She poured
a glass of brandy,
asked Alexa
to dim the lights,
play a show tune
to end the night.

  Patricia Carragon__


In Dreams
A candy-colored clown they call the sandman - Tiptoes to my room every night - Just to sprinkle stardust and to whisper - “Go to sleep. Everything is all right.”—Roy Orbison


When I was a teen,
no candy-colored clown paid me a visit,
nor did everything turn out all right.
When the lights went out,
the sandman came,
not once,
but several occasions—
gave me my first lessons
in fear and distrust.
Silent screams gasped for air,
penetrating
a blue-gray nightmare.

After a year’s absence,
the sandman returned,
held up my painting—
leafless tempera trees burned
against an orange and red sky.
He praised it,
while destroying it.
Scraps of orange, red, and ash paper
fell like stardust.

Years later,
he came by for the last time,
dressed in a dull baggy suit—
a beggar asking for forgiveness.
Before disappearing
into the blue-gray mist,
he tapped my shoulder,
whispered,
Everything will be all right.


  Patricia Carragon__