Tuesday, 12 January 2021

Innkeeper’s wife irate over loss

by Carolyn Martin

I could spit! I shouted in his face.
Turning paying guests away!
He brushed that couple off without
so much as, Maybe we could find … .

When will he learn? The Census earns
five years of room and board,
but lugging wood and curing hay,
learning isn’t on his mind.

Of course I’d carve a plan. I’d hearth
an extra rug to keep her bundle warm.
He and that soft-eyed man would share
a bed. And when it came her time, 

we’d march those smelly shepherds far
beyond the barn and hush those wings
and aggravating songs. Enough to drive
dreamers from their restless sleep.

And, the publicity we’d glean!
destination site, at least.
Not every day do morning stars
and cameled Kings ruckus through

our town. We’d be well-mapped,
well-known for hospitality, 
not the butt of half-lame jokes.
We lost the chance. I’m furious!

Know what’s worse? That dotty neighbor
with the rotting manger molding hay
lets strangers muck across his barn,
dropping coins to say they’ve been.

Now he roams his days across the hills,
singing sounds like tidings, peace,
and human hearts. Who talks like that?
I’d like to know. Who talks like that? 

* * * * *

"Innkeeper’s wife irate over loss" was previously published in Mistletoe Madness, 2015.

From associate professor of English to management trainer to retiree, Carolyn Martin is a lover of gardening and snorkeling, feral cats and backyard birds, writing and photography. Her poems have appeared in more than 125 journals and anthologie  throughout North America, Australia, and the UK. Her fifth collection, The Catalog of Small Contentments will be released in 2021. Currently, she is the poetry editor of Kosmos Quarterly: journal for global transformation.