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The Visitor



"Oh, dearie, it will brighten up the room," she said,
Carrying that massive green bowl of flowers like a newborn,
Cradling it close to her breast for its first feeding,
As if she were the only nourishment it had ever known.

She made me hate their riot of color,
Those nasty, shouting yellows and roaring oranges,
A smattering of simpering pinks for coyness,
A blood red to mark each carefully placed tongue barb.

"You need to understand color," she said, flicking her hair,
As if reading the trepidation for these things in my mind,
A witchy feat, which I certainly didn't doubt she could do,
Her pent-up, mother-in-law magic at an all-time high.

I watched as he sponged up her every last syrupy word,
Until I wanted to pull out the Hoover and vacuum them up,
Store her passive-aggressive poison deep at the bottom of the bag,
Tangled up and pureed with the skin dust, foot dirt and Muffy's hairballs.

"You must give the new wife time with these things," she said,
And I used all my power not to walk over and pick up the bowl,
And smash it to bits at her tan, sandaled feet, stomping petals,
But instead, I said, "How beautiful," and walked onto the lanai.

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