I am not sure whether it was The burnt banana bread Or the under-spiced Over-baked biscuits That did it But I am thoroughly Sick-as-a-dog Fed up to the back teeth And beyond With the schoolyard B*llsh*t bakesale Not just the politics The cut and thrust Of who gets to bake And who gets to buy At the thrice termly Repeating misery That is the fundraiser Conspicuous, competitive, Consumption For a school committee With more money Than common sense Soliciting donations: Baked goods; sweets; Good-as-new toys; Dictating requirements: Own clothes; costumes; Odd shoes; socks; Random coloured shirts; Hair ribbons; headgear; We all pay for a day Out of uniform Or suffer culinary torture Face it, ladies I can actually cook But my kitchen will never be One hundred percent Gluten or nut-free I don’t want to poison Anyone (by accident) And I resent the waste Of good ingredients This charade entails Let’s just forget it The whole in-crowd Phenomenon What are we, twelve? Phooey to the PTA! Us working mums have Bigger problems Than dusting off a dirndl To play at housewife On a weekday afternoon Though what you choose To do with your own time Is none of my business. And that was my Considered, rational, Personal perspective Before we ate the Glitter-encrusted Muffin of doom That somehow gave The entire family Galloping gut rot (Even the cat) Don’t ask me how I no longer care We have run out of Buckets, bog roll, And fresh underwear Seriously, Screw the whole thing! I am switching to Online donations At least they don’t Require that I provide Correct change Nor that I invest my Hard earned paycheck In industrial quantities Of bathroom bleach And antacids Only to be sneered at By the clique of Suzie home-maker And sycophants Holding court At the school gate Judging me and mine For our contribution To the latest cause
Otherness, that Big Brotherness
Shy, awkward, standing-in-the-corner, self-hugger. Stressed
With anxiety. Though sobriety
Lends an inevitable hand to propriety. I stammer
Stuttering a greeting that gets lost upon our meeting
In the chaos, overheating, panic seeping ‘til I’m cheating
Stepping out for some air, with strangers turning to stare
At me becoming aware, of laughter everywhere… Surrounded
Following a pealing that can set all senses reeling
‘Til I’m floating near the ceiling, tongue-tied, fingerless, unfeeling.
Shake my hand? No conversation with the cowards of creation.
I am sinking with sensation when I hear the celebration –
Party pooper! Join the group-er! Super duper! Have you heard?
I am chatting through my hat and it is really quite absurd
Can’t stop thinking while you’re drinking that I’d rather be back home.
In the company of others I am stubbornly alone.
Please believe me that I didn’t want to crowd your little clique.
It’s not personal, no, not at all, I’m shy and quiet. Quick!
While they’re quizzical, get physical just grab a bag and go.
I’ll be cruising while you’re schmoozing, floosing, boozing yourself slow.
Thumping heart, still overheating, terror-beaten and guilt-eaten.
Stumble, tumble an apology then fumble past the seating.
Through the constant sea of voices calling for too many choices.
‘Bout to lose my cool again if I give in to Twist and Shout.
God, it’s lonely on the fringes of the automatic out.