Not Until it was Too Late

Day and night chanted the pots.
Beating the rhythms, spoons and forks
kept time. The phones rang in amens
to the chorus saying, “Yes, we agree.”
The seductive message bade me give in
against my better judgment.
“There’s so much at stake” I countered.

Having no interest in missing out
on either responsibility or a chance at fun,
I think they smelled my fence-straddled position.
“Try it and the cups will bail you out
if need be. Fear it not, all will work out
as you want.” Even the mugs hummed
their hypnotic assent.

It went on this way that they continued
their mesmerizing serenade,
whittling away my resolve, and I noticed
their unified stance was becoming my own.
Eventually I couldn’t tell the difference.

Still in a daze after days of relentless indoctrination,
I think I heard me giving my agreement.
“Okay, then,” and in I went for a swim.

In midair above the water with no way to un-jump,
I saw most clearly the true folly of my choice.

It was a month in an instant
as the heat swelled above the rolling waters.
I saw vegetables bursting through
the searing bubbling broth.
I could hear them now, saying
“No! Don’t come in, you fool!”

“Too late!” I managed before I slipped in.
And in the last bitter moment as the
hurt pained and sent me numb
before my head went under
I fully knew I was right to hesitate
and understood now my goose was cooked.

© 2010 Shari Lynne Smothers

This poem is for the napowrimo prompt #12, secret codes. Visit the post to see the details of this prompt.

About Shari Smothers

Welcome to Telling Stories, my creative writing space. My name is Shari Smothers. Poems help me to understand the world and to explain my world to others. They're my premier story telling tools. There's more to come, so please share with me through reading, commenting, emailing. Learn more about Shari here. And do come again!

7 thoughts on “Not Until it was Too Late

  1. Hi Robin:
    Thanks for visiting. I'm glad you liked it. Although, I'm not sure it's good, clear code. It was a lot of fun though!
    Shari

  2. This is one of the best poems I have read coming from RWP's napowrimo, especially the first stanza, which, by the way, starts off with a great first line that really captures the reader's attention. And I think if you can engage a reader in the first line, you're half way there, you know? –I mean especially in terms of getting non-poetry-readers to read a poem, which is unfortunately not easy to do.

    I also love:
    “It was a month in an instant
    as the heat swelled above the rolling waters.
    I saw vegetables bursting through”
    –wonderful imagery.

    I really like your blog too, and the photo of the Saints parade. And I'm a huge Sexton fan so I like the quote too. I'll have to come back to your blog again soon and read more of it. Bravo! 🙂

  3. Hi Sara:

    Thank you so much for your encouraging response! I agree that openings are critical. After all it’s often what draws me in when I’m reading other writers. So I do spend considerable time making sure my openings meet the tone of the poem. I'm glad to know that this one worked.

    I’m delighted that you enjoyed the poem and the blog! I do hope you’ll come again.

    Best regards,
    Shari

  4. This was wonderful, and yes lady, it would appear you are in the soup now for certain – fine and fun piece of writing… and thanks for visiting my site Shari, now that you're the early bird, you'll be able to checkout others — I know it is hard to get around to all the sites. I don't make it to all, usually 50 or so each day, starting with those thaan visit me that day. Have fun on your ongoing poetry tour… 😉 …keep the NaPoWriMo 2010 energy flowin’…
    …rob
    Image & Verse

  5. Rob:

    Thanks for your response. I'm glad you liked it. It's always a pleasure to visit your site. It is hard to get to all. But, following the rule of reciprocity I get started and go until I can't anymore. Here's to keeping up the momentum! I appreciate your visit.

    Shari

  6. Rob:

    Thanks for your response. I'm glad you liked it. It's always a pleasure to visit your site. It is hard to get to all. But, following the rule of reciprocity I get started and go until I can't anymore. Here's to keeping up the momentum! I appreciate your visit.

    Shari

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