Thursday, April 1, 2010

Ode to Penny Rue

I write custom poems. I've often said that every occasion is worthy of a poem... I sure hope Mr. Grumbles loves me as much as I think he does...

There was a man named Steven who owned ten little toes.
Most often, they were boring things—not worthy of my prose.
They had a vital duty. And they were always ready
To help Steve walk a straight line, and keep his gait quite steady.

This fellow named his little toes. The first was Pinky Pea.
And Penny Rue did follow, as proud as she could be!
Rudy Whistle loved his spot! He was the middle digit.
He kept the other toes in line and didn’t let them fidget.

Mary Ostle (number two) was Steven’s longest toe.
And though she wasn’t ‘middle’, she could tell them where to go!
Then, number one—the BIGGIE—Tom Bumble was his name.
He was a proud majestic toe, and put the rest to shame.

Pease’s tootsies got along, and lived together well,
But when the man ignored them, they decided to rebel.
For years and years the little toes were tickled every day.
The man just couldn’t help himself—with toes he LOVED to play.

He’d wiggle them and give a pinch; he’d stroke them with a feather.
It didn’t matter; night or day, sunshine or rainy weather!
This Mr. Pease, he did devote an hour to his toes
Come snow or wind or chicken pox or running of his nose.

They simply were too cute to be ignored for very long,
And when he wasn’t stroking them, he’d sing a little song.

“Pinky Pea, you darling, the perfect tiny toe!
Penny Rue, beside him, wherever Pinky goes.
Rudy Whistle, what a toe! You’re best when playing footsie!
And Mary Ostle, long and lean—you are my favorite tootsie!
And rounding out my handsome feet is Mighty Tommy Bumble!
Without this strapping lad of mine—why, I would trip and stumble!
My toe-sies, I adore you! You are the perfect team!
And at the beauty parlor, you’re the ped-o-filer’s dream!”

At first the man would skip a day, and all the toes would sigh.
But then, he’d pull his sock off and be the perfect guy.
He’d tickle and he’d love them, and sometimes he would kiss
Penny Rue and Mary! Their toenails filled with bliss!

But time between his ‘tootsie games’ at last grew very long.
He started to neglect them. His toenails, they grew long.
Not only were they over-sized, he let them get so grubby!
And dirty nails that are too long are apt to make one stubby!

Not only did he never play, he rarely washed his feet!
His toes had always been the kind that smelled so fresh and sweet!
But days of buffed and powdered toes became a thing of yore.
And since he didn’t care for them, they started to get sore.

There came a little fungus. It liked that Penny Rue.
She hollered, ‘Get it off me!’ There was nothing they could do!
The fungus liked the Pease’s toes. He settled in, so bold!
But he was never selfish and he shared the foot with mold.

Once mold and fungus spread the word, there wasn’t any doubt
That Steven’s foot would be the perfect place to have some gout!
And gout invited bunion; and she brought corn along.
And all this cornucopia created rancid pong.

His foot looked like a garden-- sprouting stalks and seeds!
Mushrooms sprouted here and there, amongst the ped-o-weeds.
And Penny Rue, the first to host a guest who came to stay
Said, ‘I will put my foot down! I cannot walk this way!

If Steven doesn’t care for me, then I will make him limp.
I feel it in my tarsal bones…he will become a gimp!’
That Penny, she was stubborn—a mulish little toe!
If Steven wouldn’t care for her, she’d be the first to go!

She concentrated all her might on causing Steven pain.
She’d had it with this filthy man from western hills of Maine.
The doctor finally noticed, amidst the verdant growth
A little bit of swelling? A tumor? No, t’was both!

He said, ‘Now Mr. Pease, it seems that you have got a lump!
I’ll get my little snippers and make your toe a stump.
But you must heed my warning! A harvest’s what you need!
With what you’re growing twixt your toes, the third world you could feed!’

He gave the man some Lidocaine, he gave him Percoset,
He strapped on mask of oxygen, and then he went to get
A hoe, a rake, a tiller…a gardener’s trusty tools
And then, despite the caution sign, he broke a surgeon’s rules.

He said, ‘With all that’s growing there, I guess that I am willin’
To trust in ‘no infection’—he’s sprouting penicillin!
I will not wash my hands today. I’ll pull these ‘shrooms and mold!
But I cannot believe that man could treat these toes so cold!

‘Look at Mr. Pinky Pea!’ He snipped a stalk of green.
‘Isn’t he the cutest toe that you have ever seen?’
He pruned around Tom Bumble, he weeded Mary’s nails.
He shaved a fuzz of lichen, making Rudy Whistle pale.

He tweezed and mowed and whipper-snipped. He did all he could do…
But there was just no saving the fourth toe, Penny Rue.
She was so very swollen; her skin, it was all cracked
And all those nasty funguses, her tissues had attacked.

(And just in case the reader thinks this poet is absurd…
I know that it is ‘fungi’! I recognize the word!
But this is my creation! And I can choose to say
That ‘funguses’ is plural! So ‘funguses’ will stay!)

Okay, my tantrum’s over. The story must conclude.
(To point out my deficiencies was really very rude!)
The doc, he very carefully removed Steve’s Penny Rue.
He used his newest pruners. His snipping, it was true.

The surgeon had a soft spot for parts of human feet.
(Podiatrists are known world-wide for thinking toes are sweet.)
So Penny Rue, instead of ‘waste’ discarded by the healer
Went home with him and was embalmed in Mexican tequila.

The moral of this story (if there is such a thing)
Is wash your toes, and tickle them, and to them, always sing.

December 28, 2009
Photos taken at The F.A.R.M.

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