Lynne Knight

Bedtime Story

Finding it hard to communicate,
they began to speak through
stuffed animals. Ms. Bear would love
an evening without loud music
or Morgan thinks the pasta would taste
a little better with less hysteria.
For a while the bear and gorilla
sufficed, but soon it was clear
they too had trouble mentioning
the delicate. Love, for example.
So two small rabbits appeared,
pink-eared, tender, contemplative.
They had high-pitched voices, 
Elmer Fudd accents, anagrammatic
names. They were adorable. Things
became more tender and defined,
an interlude, and might have gone on
like that, but one day Morgan introduced
a hippopotamus. So much for interlude.
For one thing, M Hippo took up
an entire chair and insisted on speaking
in the most pedantic tone, like some
tight-buckled classics professor.
Worse, he used the regal plural.
We note and We hesitate and We should like.
After a few days of this, Ms. Bear
sat down at dinner one night
and refused to say anything but
What’s with this asshole.
Morgan stared at the floor,
yawning, affecting restraint.
The rabbits imitated being caught
in a trap and made horrible
squealing noises. M Hippo
(pronounced in the Gallic way)
kept asking for more pasta,
but without that abominable house sauce
we believe you call hysteria.
Well, he got it right where.
There was shouting, breakage, a mess.
Then silence. The two-legged animals
going in and out with sponges, brooms,
resolute jaws of The End.