Banana-Splitting

I swing, like a knot, tied tight between
The extended arms of my parents.
We skip to Alethia’s, a small ice cream parlor-
The antique building digs it’s roots into the
Worn cobblestone sidewalk with resistance.

Teenaged employees gleam vanilla white teeth,
While fattened customers perch in
Puffy pink and white checkered booths.

Other Dads recline royally,
Some of their stomachs crest over the marbled tabletops-
Like emerging suns breaking the horizon.
Other Moms muster the strength to subdue
Their children’s craze so they can
Cleanse the mouths edges with a wettened thumb.

I’m still chainlinked, tied tight,
between the roughened muscles of my Dad,
and the softened refined skin of my Mom
As we squeeze into our usual booth.

Like hit and run, well camouflaged-
A banana split appears and rests deadly center on the table.
Summer light splits the windows, and casts a dividing shadow
Between mountains of puffy cotton cream.
The light goldens the ridged surface of the banana that
Sits like a wedge between a blob of chocolate and blob of vanilla.

My head wobbles to avoid the image.
I swivel and see
How the employee’s plastic smiles seem to startle and frighten the customers.
The welcome bell rings like an alarm clock,
Awakening and shattering.
The musty dairy fragrance stings my pores
And I hate the stench.

Words sputter from the mouths of these two people,
Trapping me in the booth-
They murmur and mutter and I can’t distinguish the syllables of forfeit.
My fingers work furiously, like windshield wipers,
But still, salty drops cannonball into the untouched metaphor of abandonment.

How can disaster be desert?

I feel resentment prickle the length of my spine.
I imagine Dad as a flaking rotting banana.
I imagine Mom as a flaking rotting banana.
Ears spilt from their heads like peels,
Their face that pale ugly yellow,
Mouths like decaying holes easily disposable as garbage.


I gaze back at the treat,
The melting metaphor spilling onto my life,
My reality is a pool of swirling ice cream and mushy banana.
I feel like a wedge, not a knot,
Between the unfamiliar faces of my separate parents,
That watch my streaked miserable face.
We leave the parlor,
The bell marks our exit.
We travel home, this time,
No longer as a family.




Poetry by Shawn Monahan
Read 526 times
Written on 2008-02-01 at 21:41

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