Thursday, September 07, 2017

The Ballad of the Boy Who Never Wrote Home

GoofBoy was away for eight weeks this summer. He wrote to us once. I wrote to him regularly. When I didn't hear from him, I began to chide him in a literary way - turning, for the first time in decades, to poetry.

The Ballad of the Boy Who Never Wrote Home

All because the boy did not write
Momma frets: Was he eaten by a bear
Father scoffs: No need to take fright
My bet, he’s fallen for the girl with pink hair

Momma worries he was struck by lightning
Grown so tall, the bolt must strike
That much height would be frightening
Father scowls: he’s just out on an extra long hike

Momma rejoins: Then he must be lost
In the deep dark Berkshire wood
Father asks: how much does this camp cost?
Still, pick up a pen, he should…

And then Father too begins to worry
What if boy became Sasquatch
As he’d sit eating take-out Thai curry
With endless nature documentaries to watch

Mother says: He fell off a mountain
You know he’s afraid of heights
Can’t we just finish this episode of Downton
Father moans, one Thursday night

Then father reads about Cthulu’s comeback
And worries the boy’s soul was eaten
He secretly prepares his rescue pack
With potent spells to give demons a beaten

He doesn’t breathe a word to his wife
As he prepares for his secret mission
But deep under piles he grasps a knife
Of wrought silver made by magic fission

I’m going to a conference he tells Momma
She rolls her eyes, and doesn’t ask
From home he drives till he meets a llama
It says, I’ll be your guide but you must do a task

Oh great, father says, a must-do chore
Do you want to rescue boy
From the pit of Cthulu gore
The llama asked, being coy

Fine, fine, I’ll do it, whatever you need
Great, just install my back-top router
For I haven’t hands, then we can go with speed
The llama said excited, louder

The wires plugged, the passwords set
The duo took a trail to deep dark
Father scared reached out to pet
Llama roared: I’m no puppy at the park

Sorry, I’m frightened in all this gloom
Father confessed with shame
But I sense in facing Cthulu my doom
Llama snapped: Don’t speak his name

We aren’t getting along very well
Father said to his camelid guide
Perhaps if you were silent a spell
And so they trudged on, side-by-side

As they were schlepping a worry came to Momma
He’s been gone too long, I just know
He found on the trail that talking llama
Hey GoofGirl, we have to go

GoofGirl was pleased, she had go-bags ready
Loaded with rations, band-aids and ammo
Loading the car, that girl was steady
Before she left, she put on camo

Neither GPS nor Google Maps knew
The location they needed
Home of arch-demon Cthulu
Were greatest evil is seeded

Father and llama travelled long and far
Through deserts searing and swamps dank
And jungles like walls of green tar
Though the llama was fair, Father stank

As they travelled Father thought and thought
About his boy and his terrible fate
That DEMOM that DEMON must be fought
Oh hurry for we could be too late

An upside-down castle with walls of coal
Stood before them, grim
In they went, creeping they stole
In search of the boy, in search of him

Within a vast hall, a gleaming black
The demon was found, great
Tentacled, his maw a gaping crack
Father took his silver knife to meet his fate

Fighting demons takes practice and skill
Before he could move Father
Was grabbed and held until
Llama charged and spat, a surprising bother

Released, Father scampered to escape
But was blocked by demonic bulk
Llama nonplussed, simply changed shape
To a bat and flew off, leaving Father to sulk

Then his cell phone buzzed, alive with a text
But Father did not know what do next
He was busy looking for places to hide

Then Cthulu jumped and ran from the gate
And Father sprinted out free and clear
Passing GoofGirl who in a ready state
Nerf guns in each hand, eyes without fear

I shot its big butt, she cried, I think
Demon anatomy is kind of weird
It’s hot, here’s some water to drink
Father glugged it, drenching his beard

Can we go, Momma called, in a hurry
He’ll be back and furious
Then cook us in a hellish curry
Let’s leave now, don’t be curious

They got in the car and Momma said
You drive back, since we saved your butt
And Father drove home from the land of the dead

It wasn’t too bad, he knew a shortcut

No comments: