Sunday, November 1, 2015

Separation - A Magpie Tale

photo by Elaine Usdin

Image chosen by Tess for her Magpie Tales, Mag 292.

People in my life are in the middle stages of what appears to be divorce. This was on my mind before I saw Tess' writing prompt. My poem is the wedding of my heart with this image from Tess and with broken promises.

I was married once. I would have married again, perhaps, but the two women I partnered with one after the other after my marriage dissolved would not have it. Today, over twenty years after that divorce, I am still a single man but I live beneath the second one of them and we are family even though not partners. I believe I am not alone in understanding that marriage unecessarily complicates things once children are not in question. You can partner up in honest relations of kindness and love without the added late in life legal entanglements piled onto the residue of earlier times. I suppose that presumes lack of greed and having made sufficient preparations too.

Fat Albert was the name my wife Ann gave to her huge white rabbit. She kept Fat Albert in a hutch on the small slab outside the sliding glass panels of her apartment. We gave Fat Albert away for fear he would not survive the stress of moving from Mountain View, California to Portland, Oregon back in 1973. This poem is a fiction, a far cry from what happened long ago.

Fat Albert was the name Bill Cosby gave to a comic character in his stand up routines. I believe Ann saw him perform in San Francisco. Bill was a stand up performer before his TV and movie career and he succeeded so well that there were LP vinyl recordings of his routines as there were of other comedians of that day.

Fat Albert

Gird your loins, you say
through my love of Fat Albert.

My shadow sweeps past
the moon's reflection
on the waters hung around
your waist on stifffened
wire hoops, thick paper
printed like some tropical
forest brushing ticks
from your long long legs.

I do love you still despite
your indifference
to my last ditch pleas,
and now you will, shamefaced, take
our rabbit.

you will treat him well,
better than you did others
we kept together.

‎November ‎1, ‎2015 10:43 AM


  1. I had a beloved cat that wasn't my X's but he took him anyway, in fact he took both of our cats and much of our household. At the time it felt like cruel betrayal but I did get over it when I got another cat. Life is like that.

  2. The fickle circumstances of life can feel like a betrayal, but, none the less, they challenge us to move on in our own light.

  3. Very moving . . . not what I expected . . . and I like a good surprise!

    1. That prompts the question... What did you expect?

  4. Happy threesome - you, me and the rabbit.

    1. Far too complex it seems for real happiness. I think she's leaving and taking the rabbit too. Such is life. C'est la vie.

  5. Replies
    1. Thank you. As for you, Certainly not bittersweet except perhaps as a good chocolate is like that. And certainly wonderful. Are you permanent overseas?

  6. I wonder if Fat Albert tried to find his way home

    1. One of the best days with Fat Albert was near the end of our time in Mountain View... We let Fat Albert out of his cage and let him hop around. He was far larger than any cat in the apartment complex and there were several. They all gathered to check him out. So on that grassy spot he hopped leisurely and fearlessly around, circled by several curious cats who could not figure him out. Then he peed a cloudy white fluid on the sidewalk and we took that as the sign to pick him up and put him back away.


The chicken crossed the road. That's poultry in motion.

Get Your Own Visitor Map!