Sunday, May 17, 2015




Jefferson and Matilda, scanning menus for a choice,
Long time work mates who became partners for lunch,
No buffets, at a Tex Mex, you must pick and choose,
Jefferson struggled for subtle ways to leave her clues.

They were comfortable enough with each, to double dip,
To both's surprise, thinking aloud, he let it slip,
He's turned in his notice, a full two weeks tendered,
Jefferson, waving a veritable white flag of surrender.

Matilda showed calm to the core, though quite confused,
A part of her was in panic, but show it? She refused.
He explained, the no fraternization policy was the cause,
The one they sign with the firm; deep breath and pause...

"Soon I will be able to ask you out, on a proper date."
This was his way to avoid the problems that would create.
The entrees arrived, server warning, the plates were hot,
To the server, "More dip, please." To him, "I think not."

Different table, same place, two weeks had passed away.
Hostess overheard her congratulate him on his special day.
Sarcasm in her tone, tension building, she's about to break,
When panic ensues, what with singing and a birthday cake!

Restaurant people carry on like they hate singing that song,
But they are found to be smiling when time to sing along,
Jefferson silently cried "Foul," whipped cream to his face,
He had the attention of all but one person in that place.

A quick trip to running water, what could make this worse?
Matilda, laughing, "I can't believe you had dessert first."
He saw an opening, a potential opportunity to be seized;
He asked her on a date again, again she was not pleased.

He asked one good reason, thinking, "I hope she doesn't."
Her swift reply, "It would be like dating my first cousin."
A pause, neither saying a word, then, "Pick me up at eight."
Not knowing what possessed her to concede, "Don't be late."

For weeks, Jefferson pitched and wooed the prize he'd won.
It seemed every date was like starting over, not a lot of fun.
A normal fellow would have seen this all as cause for alarm;
Not Jefferson, who's only resolve was to turn up the charm.

This brings us to a very special evening, anniversary bind;
To show up with gifts, hearts and flowers, was in his mind.
In advance, on a lunch break, he visited a florist to find,
They did not have his chosen flowers, none the right kind.

He called in to the office, asking for the rest of the day,
His wish granted, they were not busy, off to find a bouquet,
Looking past his car, he spied a tavern, thinking libation,
In moderation, would open revolving doors of inspiration.

Those fruity drinks, served in tandem, in frosted glasses,
During what they call a happy hour; my how the time passes;
A glance at the door as it opens, afternoon sun streams in,
He recalls where he is going, won't remember where he's been.

He drives away, at a time he should not be behind the wheel,
Mere blocks from his house, his bumper lays a lick on steel.
The poor innocent mail box, leveled, taken down to the post,
It never saw him coming. He drives on, the mail box a ghost.

Pulling into his driveway (only requiring two or three tries),
Staggering from his vehicle, one might guess what he spies,
Much to his good luck, or perhaps this will be his misfortune,
He sees a garden full of flowers, and chooses to pick them.

Before hitting the shower, tossing them into the deep freeze,
So they don't wilt, as wilted flowers would surely not please.
An hour later, he is looking good, feeling better, time to go;
Reaching in for flowers, he discovers they're covered in snow.

Frosted flowers are not in order and today, will not suffice.
He eases back to the garden, and proceeds to pick them twice.
Seeing Mrs. Clancy wave, he drives away. They won't be missed.
She's not waving at the floral thief. She's shaking her fist!

Coming to her door, she greets Jefferson, hands behind him.
He offers her the token, once thought out, but taken on a whim.
Doubtful she smelled them, over alcohol on his baited breath,
He stuffs some in a water glass, the rest fall to their death.

She feigns indifference. Knowing better, he calls her bluff.
He offers an enthusiastic "Happy Anniversary," off the cuff.
Clueless as to what he was implying, to her it meant nothing.
Her smile not forthcoming, truth be told, scowl was scathing.

This moment he became broken, too much weight on his shoulder.
For the first time, he had little or no desire to hold her.
It was not as though he'd killed someone, or shown disrespect;
She never considered, his melt down, a result of her neglect.

Rolling of her eyes was the final straw, he could take no more;
She turned her back for a moment, he opened and closed the door.
He made it home intact, wondering all the while, what went wrong.
He was rudely awakened on a Saturday morning by a siren's song.

He was greeted by a constable, with a warrant in hand to serve.
A complaint was filed, for stealing prize peonies by the curb.
Routine run of his tags showed he was the local mailbox culprit.
He was hand cuffed and put in the back of a squad car, to sit.

Bail was set low, so he gained his release with room to spare.
He did not miss time from work, until his court date to appear.
No one ever guessed that the boy had been falling down drunk.
Nothing was found in a routine going over of his cab or trunk.

The judge might not have made an example to her fullest powers,
Over a single (okay, there were two) transgression of flowers;
As fate would allow, her brother made a living delivering mail.
Still, she was lenient, to the point, Jefferson avoided jail.

Now, Matilda drives by his work and sees his car in its place,
But she never sees it in his driveway; gazing at an open space,
No idea he repairs pot holes on gravel roads, who could guess,
The result of receiving one hundred hours of community service.

By the time Jefferson had personal time, he was not to be found,
Unless one might spy a cabin house, on the outskirts of town.
It seems he met a lady on a county road, in a vehicle, stranded.
He came to her rescue, was cordial; she found his wit candid.

The last time Matilda cruised by his house, sign said was sold.
She surmised, Jefferson had gone off the deep end, life on hold.
Hers was sure in order, a new man in her life, no sense of loss,
Workplace dalliance can be overlooked, when it is with the boss.

That Clancy woman finally took home a ribbon at the county fair.
No one had ever seen peonies with such shimmer, sheen and glare.
She never shared, the secret of her success was a killer frost.
She almost did not enter, counting this year's crop a total loss.

Who would ever have thought, frozen flowers could do the deal?
Had Jefferson only known, he might not tossed his into a field.
Those folks with the fallen mailbox, rented a box, lock and key,
At the local post office, their names on front as the addressee.

The judge failed to win last election, and here is how it went:
She was seen as soft on crime. It was said she was too lenient.
Now she writes a column for the local paper. She is good at that.
A paperboy's bike rolls a sheared metal post. His tire goes flat.

Michael Todd  (2015)


  1. she just wanted to be fed
    not led
    and definitely love NOT as she sees herself as a four
    and everyone else is out the door

    Frozen Peonies
    and blue balls :(

    Crushed mailbox..........communication rerouted

    Very intense write

    1. I am all kinds of hysterical over your splendid overview, Brenda...

      Thanks bunches, and... Nice FRISTING !!!

  2. Oh, what a hilarious tale you spin!
    One love lost, one to win,
    Lives intertwined, paths to cross,
    A callous soul ends up with her boss.

    Things that seemed bad were good in the end
    As fate took a rather capricious bend,
    Just goes to show if our goals are not met
    We might find a different, better one, yet.

    1. Incredible Riff, Sandra! ... My goodness...
      This is like getting an early Birthday present, all wrapped in Rhythm & Bow. :)

  3. Dear Michael,

    It's sad when people can't be honest from the start as to where their relationship is going--saves a lot of hurt and strife. I really enjoyed this story. It really flows well and kept my interest from start to finish. Well done!


    1. Thanks, Karen... Not a lot worked out here for the folks. Dysfunctional people tend to follow these paths. But, they get by.

  4. It took a lot of nerve (and perhaps too many stars before his eyes) to quit his job without knowing how his advances would be taken. They say everything happens for a reason, but he had a painful journey. It seems like it worked out for him in the end, though.

    I love peonies. And this was an epic tale <3

    1. His life was like peonies, in the end, Dahlia. Certainly not the best, but close. Glad you enjoyed this poem. It was a fun change of pace, a first step on a long dark path.

  5. For his loss a better gain for all.

    Very witty and interesting write. My heart is with the peonies

    1. They all seemed to land on their feet, Dave, except for the paperboy, who landed on his face... I heard peonies, too!

  6. Not a sonnet... but an impassioned raw tale, with a side order of laughs... -Dave Raider

    Kept me in suspense!

    1. My sense of humor tends to lean toward a dark side, Dave. Glad you enjoyed. Thanks for joining us.

  7. I like how everyone ended up with what they wanted; how coal turns into diamonds and frost turns into first. This is an epic tale of fate rather than fortune, and how when a butterfly flaps his wings in Tennessee, a paper boy gets a flat!

    1. When I was a youngster, Matt, I wanted to be a paper boy, but I had no bicycle. Later on, when I did get my first Western Flyer, I was simply too busy riding to tie myself down to throwing papers.

      Thanks for visiting, on a Sunday afternoon, Sir.

  8. Great Myke, so many emotions displayed from heartbreak to hysterical over frozen peonies, epic battle of life experiences!!!

    1. Thanks, Linda... It is fun to witness these sagas mingle, as long as it is watching from a safe distance... thanks so much for coming by. :)

  9. You tied up that tale well. :)
    I was beginning to despair for the
    poor fella.

    1. He came out smelling like a r̶o̶s̶e̶ peony, Deanna, and we are all glad for that. Heck, things worked our for pretty much everyone.

      Thanks for visiting. That makes me happy.

  10. You really do have a knack for this myke
    Love your poem.
    aka Misty

    1. Thank you, Misty. You are far too kind. Glad you enjoyed. :)

  11. Matilda was a frozen as the peonies, really. Almost a little glee at his misfortune.

    Yeah. I've known a couple like that.

    1. Christopher, I started out, looking for ways to put Matilda in a good light, but then I thought, why bother?

      Glad we are on the same wave length today, as we are most days. :)

  12. Your talent for story telling is apparent in the story you told of two people silently telling their own story. Luckily for you, your story is largely read by people enjoying other people's story. 🌸🌺🌹🌻

    1. Stepany... It is a great big world and I just want to be in the center of it, looking out and taking note... notes.

      Thanks for the visit and the smiles... Always. :)

  13. What a tale you spin.
    The writing of this one must have been as fun to write as it was to read.

    1. Debra... This one was a blast to write. When it was done, I put my hands in the air... Don't think I have ever been guilty of that maneuver... Seriously, it was a rewarding couple of hours.

      Many thank yous for coming by. That means the world and a half to me.

  14. I love your twisted sense of humor and you. This was amazingly epic as Lisa said.
    And no one says twisted sense of humor like I do so I know I don't need to say who I am because I know you already know :) <3

    1. My sense of humor is as twisted as a Celtic Knot, Leigh. I am okay with that. It is sort of my comfort zone. :)

      Thanks for striving so hard to get here tonight. I really appreciate that.

    2. Celtic knots are the best, sir.
      To read you always such pleasure.

    3. Thanks. That goes both ways. :)

  15. For just a second I thought this was going to be one very sad tale.
    Until Matilda moved on with her boss and saw Jefferson's house for sale.
    Oops got to go Daughter just called and looks like we may be having a baby tonight pains 2-3 mins apart. 3 hours away. Enjoyed the write Mike!

    1. Linda... Oh, my! Looks like big things are happening in Arkansas!
      Let me know...

  16. I love story poems and this one was great! Mathilda meh? Who needs her? Jefferson did better at the end and I love happy endings too! Except the paper boy needs a new tire and a hug❤️

    1. I am so happy with your assessments and overview, Demme.
      And, it is really nice for someone to show some love to the paper boy.
      Bless his heart. :)

  17. Excellent story...didn't know that about paperboys!!

    1. Hello, Barbara... Hey, riding a bicycle with one hand, while looking from side to side, can be a dangerous trail to trek. Poor paper boy, only in the poem for a single line, and he was the only one who had nothing to smile about.

      Glad you came by tonight. Always happier when you are in the house.

    2. the hours I spent folding newspapers and putting a rubber band around them just because I had a crush on the paperboy....sigh

    3. If that ain't love, what is? <3

  18. Well that was some tremendous, tale there Mike. A passionate love tryst of twisted humanism garnished with peonies!!!

    1. Hello, Drew... Who knew, peonies serve as an excellent garnish?

      Thanks so much for coming over here to read and share commentary.

  19. I love wandering over here for a little entertainment and new tidbits of knowledge!

    1. Carol... We love having you here. Thanks for visiting.

  20. Glad I waited, it sure was worth it...wonderful! Positive, hopeful and an excellent show of the joy of writing. Peonies are a fave, and did you know they're used in Chinese medicine as part of harmonizing body and soul?...:)

    1. There was infinite joy experienced while writing this. So glad it shows. The thought of perfect harmony appeals to me, in a mighty way.

      Thank you for reading and sharing your thoughts, Lana.

  21. A wonderful read as always Michael. All's fairly well that ends fairly well. Life sure has its funny twists and turns. I thought the frosted flowers was a nice touch!

    1. Frosted flowers as a result of a frosted glass, led to a world change, did it not? Fare would not wait, destiny could not drive a straight line. It all adds up to this... Best part is, Don, there is not need for a sequel. :)

  22. I am glad Jefferson didn't end up with Mathilda she didn't seem to appreciate him much. If they would have actually communicated I am sure he would have figured it out. Ah well it seemed to work out for him in tbe end.

    1. Laura... All things considered, Jefferson landed on his feet quite well, and for all we know, is living in a cabin on a hill.

      Thanks so much for visiting. :)

  23. Interesting chain of events! ☺ Jefferson seemed a bit stalkerish at first, but I'm glad things worked out for him, in the end. Or,did they?

    1. Oh, I imagine things will work out well for him. Getting out of the city should clear his head. I bet he carries his lunch to work these days, though...

      Thanks for coming by, Debbie. :)

  24. You know I love a good walk on the dark side, and this took me there. Lots of twists and turns, as is the case in real life. Very good reflective piece, and an epic tale. Thank you! (Can't log into my google account. Don't tell anyone...I'm at work lol!!)
    ~ Colleen B.

    1. Colleen, your secret is safe with me, unlike the people in this poem, whose dirty laundry I have scattered all about... not that they are real people. I made all this up... well, some of it. ;)

  25. It was probably a good thing that Jefferson did not end up with Matilda. She was colder than the frozen peonies. Love this lil tale of yours, sir! :)


    1. Irene... I am somewhat taken aback that no one in this thread has shown any love to Matilda. I mean, I would not, but I thought surely, someone would take me to task for presenting her in such a negative light. Good for me!

  26. The things done for love...

    Happy to catch up to this :)


    1. To, for or against, Stephen Lee... all have their place. Thanks for the visit, whether from the train or the studio.

  27. Awe the rhyme and mood this sets..Well done Myke

  28. Brilliant! Such fine poetic storytelling. I love it!