Early Morning Roll Call

by Kristina Woodhill

At 3 a. m.
she had had enough,
lined them all up
against the bedroom wall,
every last presumptuous
sleep-replacing memory

waving aside their demands
to declare
name, rank, or year of misconception

glaring the rancor she felt each time
they invaded her pillow
with talk of past insults, worries,
drum-rolling regrettable deeds

they, daring her with scary clown faces,
sticky-pie-thrown names like Chuckles
or Bozo, especially Puddles Pity Party

oh, she knew their time frames,
how they tried to trick her mirror
into past glances, ludicrously warped
with elephantine

with her own determined
crazed grin in place,
she shot them down
one by one,
like Annie Oakley at a shooting gallery
bam, ping, pow!

splatting her wall
with incensed satisfaction,
pulling the trap door lever

she, ignoring all the while
that they were
part and parcel of
the carnival
she herself had mind made

and like all cleverly created shooting galleries,
one by one
they would be popping up again,
hinged and ready for her next unhinging


Author's Note: I was amused as I was looking for authentically used clown names to come across "Puddles Pity Party"

Posted on 08/07/2018
Copyright © 2024 Kristina Woodhill

Member Comments on this Poem
Posted by Chris Sorrenti on 08/07/18 at 05:30 PM

Intriguing entertaining glimpse into your mind, Kris. Cleansing away a few demons? Really like this word combo: with elephantine imaginings

Posted by Philip F De Pinto on 08/08/18 at 01:47 PM

the experts are famous for saying that we should get at least eight hours of sleep. I suppose they think we are children with little on our minds to concern us. I fear the experts do not live in the real world where it is seeming these sleep disturbers are ever on the rise. It surprises me given our present frenetic state of affairs that we can even achieve a slumber state. I fear there is too much wind e'er rocking our cradle. One thing is for certain, Kristina, I will never fall asleep on any poem that you conceive and are generous enough to share.

Posted by Glenn Currier on 08/11/18 at 01:42 PM

It sounds to me like a dream recounted from a poet's eyes and ears. The unhinging that pops up from time to time as if hinged by something unconventional and misconceived. Then there is Puddles Pity Party. I remember vividly this clown/singer on the talent tv show who captured the imagination and adulation of the audience and judges. He was/is a sad-faced clown with a deep and resonant voice - the sad face belying the expectations of viewers. Thanks Kristina. I enjoyed this.

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