Poetry Class Assignment

I’m lazy and cold today and don’t want to write a post, so here: read this poem I wrote for poetry class. I think I like it a lot, but I’m not sure yet.

The Tartar

Jeremiah Jenkin’s house was the

Ugly one on the end of the street,

All covered in vines and surrounded

By dogwoods, and a peach tree

At each corner, although they were

All wizened up and didn’t give but

Mean, stingy little fruits.

His lawn was brown and scratchy,

Like a big carpet of prickly, plastic

Grass, and it was dumb but he guarded

That lawn with his life, screaming

Curses, eyes bulging, spit flying, if ever

Some kid who didn’t know better

Cut across his yard to make it to the

Woods beyond.

Jeremiah was king of that bare plot until

The Tartar came, this mangy, ratty blue

Tick hound who sauntered across the lawn

With his thin tail held high, nose in the air,

Slapping each big paw down, his grimy ears

Flopping up and down with his saucy walk.

Jeremiah stood on the porch, watching,

Coffee mug in veiny, liver-spotted hand,

And then his eyes began to bulge, his

Nostrils to flare and his chest thudded

Up and down as pure fury threatened

To choke him, and he gasped in a breath

And screamed, “Get off my gosh darn yard!”

The Tartar glanced deliberately back

And kept on going, unconcerned, his

Tail wagging back and forth, and Jeremiah

Rained curses down on the Tartar’s head and

His mother and his progeny and so help

Him God he would choke the life out of

Him with his bare hands if he saw him again.

That wasn’t the end of the Tartar’s attitude,

Of course, and the very next day he was

Back, wagging that tail, flopping those ears,

And Jeremiah screamed and flung his coffee

Mug and cursed until his wrinkled old face

Was turning blue from lack of oxygen and

He was almost shaking and had to sit down.

The kids who got off at the bus stop up the

Road always came to watch the Tartar prance his

Arrogant little butt across the yard and the

Screaming and apoplexy from Jeremiah that

Followed, the things thrown – coffee cups and

Rib bones and balled up plastic and sometimes

Things like slippers or the pillow from his porch chair.

It was the little boy down the street who

Noticed when there were more rib bones

Than coffee cups, and sometimes the Tartar

Would pick up the thrown bones and trot off

With them, tail held high, and pretending

He didn’t notice when Jeremiah’s old lips

Would tug back in a tiny little smile.

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