Challenge from Jennifer Jowett:  Write a poem in a strong voice, with what X might say.  Example:  What Cornonavirus might say, what a hungry dog might say, etc.

What an Introvert, Faking It for Her Husband, Would Say

I’m not going!
Why should I want to
eat a formal dinner with
a tableful of self-showcasers
I don’t even know?
Round tables of 12, you say?
Okay, fine.
If it means your job, then I’ll dig out
my black dress and pumps.
Ignore my cussing.

Those sequined evening gowns
are breathtaking –
simply stunning!
How stirring you dropped
a cool mil to
impress people you barely know.
And those stylish updos,
perfectly coiffed.
Let me savor all the
glittery berry shades
of fake nails at this table.
Ignore my squinting as your
glitz and bling blind me.

And those matching designer evening bags
and stilettos!
I should be so envious of all of you,
with my leather backpack, book,
Moleskine journal, and fountain pen.
You are clearly all first-place trophy wives
of the year.
No one comes close to
competing with you.
Ignore my fumbling to touch
my book
for oxygen.

Really, Evelyn?
Five minutes in and already
gossiping ?
I don’t know your
but I’m sure that while all
their husbands are cheating
and they seem to be so hurt,
you might should shut up –
or, find a caring friend
who’ll slap you some sense.
You might jinx yourself.
Ignore me while I inspect the
craftsmanship of this sterling relish fork!

Oh, Victoria!
You don’t say!
Your son is expecting again?
And they just moved into their
mansion in Vail?
Where he’s the Pediatrician
of the year for the country?
And your beautiful grandchildren
are in the finest private schools?
Wait – don’t tell me – they’re all
on Headmaster’s Honor Roll?!
Those little geniuses!
Hahahahaha, you think
they get it from you?
Ignore me while I scroll to a picture
of my ill-behaved Schnauzer.

What, Gloria?
A brand new Rolls Royce?
I’m so sorry your heart is
hurting because
they were two shades of gray off
from your heart’s desire.
Maybe next year.
Ignore me while I kick my husband under
the table and lock glaring eyes on him.

Indeed, Elizabeth. I’d heard you mention
that your daughter is THE decorating queen
and is dressing department store windows
in New York City as a side job
while she awaits word on her lead role
in a movie. You say she even
came in with her design team
and redid your house?
There is no way that you can imagine how
honored I feel to be sitting at the table
with one who holds the title of the most
elegantly decorated home in the world.
Ignore me while I sneak a few sentences
of my next chapter….

Those pictures of your anniversary cruise
to Italy are totally gorgeous, Pandora!
No way!! You mean you actually threw a coin in the
world-famous Trevi Fountain?
AND saw the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel?
I’m sure no one in this ballroom has ever
visited Italy in the winning way that you have.
Your moments outshine all of ours –
hands down!
Ignore me while I look at my phone screen
to see my husband and me smiling in Rome
before I go home,
choke him,
and nonchalantly finish my book.

How admirable, Lovey, that you
and Thurston
donated 10 million dollars
this week to help
those who are starving
and can’t afford
gala gowns and cruises!
Those destitute souls,
know-nothings who
cannot even take care
of themselves. And you.
Look at you, head tilted
at lost-in-deep-thought angle,
swept away,
fingering the petals of the centerpiece
as you crown yourself THE BEST EVER
in your daydream.
Ignore me while I write my annual
check to support public broadcasting.

I am truly thrilled to have met you all!
What? Christmas cards?!
Oh, believe me – I’ll be looking forward to the
Blessings of the season that you’ll sincerely
wish for me
as you share
all the successful accomplishments
of your year.
Ignore me while I jot key words
about tonight
so I can write a poem
for the 5-Day Writing Challenge
about why I’m glad to be
an officially diagnosed introvert.

-Kim Johnson

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