The Tale of Mrs. Pumpkin Eater

Peter, Peter, Pumpkin eater
Had a wife and couldn’t keep her.
Put her in a pumpkin shell
and there he kept her very well. _Traditional

That Old Woman Who Lived in a Shoe–
what’s all the fuss about?
Who hasn’t whipped them all soundly
on occasion, put them to bed?

With only a sparse dinner
when you’ve got so many to feed,
who’d quarrel with that?
Try walking in her shoes. (Shoe.)

But as I hear it, she pulls her laces tight.
Likes the dark. Wouldn’t the children be half-blind?
Can’t be all that good for them, at any rate.
And candlelight can be dangerous.

How to know when they drip hot wax on your chair,
slime the floor with slippery seeds,
tear your petticoat into a kite-tail
and sail out the top to freedom?

Yes, it’s all true, what you’ve heard.
My children got loose.
Escaped  to the last little one while I struggled to get up.
Stuck tight in the wax, I was.

It was all my husband’s fault.
He was checking again
to make sure I was in still in there.
Lifted the top and they all flew out.

Men can be so thoughtless.

-Carol Brockfield
In the Garden of the Crow Anthology, Electrik Milk Bath Press, July 2011


About Carol Foreman Brockfield

Poet in Medford, Oregon
This entry was posted in Poems. Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to The Tale of Mrs. Pumpkin Eater

  1. D Chadwell says:

    Carol — I love this. The tone is such a nice balance between flippant and serious. Very cool. dc

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