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Shepherd's Pie (Soupline Meditation #10)
starr

Fred was a wooden skeleton
 1
that stood beside Ellie's bed
 2
on the womens' side of the shelter-
 3
 
 
I found him for her
 4
in a trash pile downtown,
 5
lied and told her
 6
that he came from the cemetery
 7
around the corner,
 8
that a 'possum dug him up.
 9
 
 
He was missing an arm
 10
and a couple of fingers-
 11
All the other parts were attached;
 12
he watched over her
 13
while she slept at night,
 14
made her feel safe.
 15
 
 
She woke up one morning and
 16
began telling others in the breakfast line about him;
 17
of how she used to keep
 18
an ex-resident (after she chopped him up
 19
into hundreds of pieces)
 20
inside a body bag under the soup kitchen stairs,
 21
that she was gonna use his remains
 22
to make Shepard's Pie for dinner that night-
 23
(Of corpse) she was joking.
 24

In loving memory of Ellie Walsh who lives forever in the depths of my heart.  

25 Mar 10

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Comments:

this is brilliant, starr.  love it.
 — Tandisol

Thanks, Tandi!  I'm glad!  Ellie was my little angel (of death.)  LOL!  xo
 — starr

hahaha!  That last line is pathetic and perfect at the same time!  
 — Isabelle5

i know, that last line, is the quintessential bad pun ("groaner"), but it totally fits the piece!  
 — Tandisol

LOL!  Thanks, guys!  If you knew Ellie, you'd totally understand the humour in it.  She wore dark sunglasses (even indoors) and threatned perfect strangers with dismemberment and ask them what color bodybags they wanted to go out in because she was gonna come and chop them up in their sleep!  Truth be told, she did that to protect herself because in a shelter environment, you don't know who to trust and she figured that if she made herself appear "nuts," they'd leave her alone (which they did.)  LOL!  For her birthday, I bought her one of those old-fashioned meatgrinders and screwed it into the wall over her bed!  She LOVED it!  Glad u like this!  
 — starr

That gift is as unique as my 'stripper pole vase!"  haha  

Okay, the dead bones, what beast?
 — Isabelle5

It was just a teak skelton that stood about 5' tall.  I figured it would be the PERFECT gift for her where she always joked about death.  Ends up, she LOVED Fred!  That skeleton stood beside her bed for the last two years of her life!  One night, while she was out in the courtyard smoking, I tucked Fred into her bed and when she pulled back the covers, she screamed!  LOL!  She said, "I'm gonna KILL Starr!"  She was TOO precious 4 words and the very reason I went 2 work every day for 7 years.  :-)
 — starr

hilarious dude
 — unknown

he he - this series is poignant and hilarious, tragic-comedy made in bite-sized pieces -

in the mystery of misery there is food for thought on the soup-line - we're all a little stronger in those places where once we were broken in pieces


well done staRR
 — AlchemiA

Thanks, unk. and Alch...you GOT it, baby.  I've seen a lot of people who arrived broken in pieces and who LEFT all put together again (or at least on their way.)  Ellie was my "special" one though.  The first day I met her, I fell in love with her.  She was amazing.  Love you, buddy!  Thanks, as always, 4 the complimentary words.  :-)
 — starr

HAHAHAHAHA!  You changed it because I was too dense to understand Fred!!!!  Oh, you sweet man!  (Don't threaten an Irish witch again, you better watch your own back for the meat cleaver comin' down!)
 — Isabelle5

A little different than your usual stuff, starr, but it carries the essence of Ellie perfectly--with panache, I must say :)
 — PaulS

Your talk of Ellie takes me back to my EMS days and the many characters that inhabited that world. Consider the frequent flier, a homeless man who had substance abuse and heart problems. Get to the ER, tell the nurse (without judgment, but because it may be relevant to a treatment plan) "This gentleman's indigent" and get the rant from the patient, "I ain't ignorant. Don't call me ignorant!" There's a whole universe of disconnects out there, and some out theres looking to connect! Love the series, Starr. Engenders a testimonial constellation, a quirky galaxy of elegy.
 — NicMichaels

Thanks, Paul and Nic for the comps.!  I'm glad u enjoyed this!  And Nic, I completely hear ya on the whole 9.  Social Services is a tough, tough world and if you're not in it to help those in need, then you're not in it at all.  I was truly blessed to serve that population for 7 years.  :-)
 — starr

ha, this is a pretty neat story, really light and warm/fuzzy.
I like it very much, Starr. :)
 — jenakajoffer

Great poem
 — psychofemale

Awwwwwwwwwww!  Thanks, Jen!  Ellie ALWAYS made me feel so warm/fuzzy, even when she was threatening to chop me up and leave my dismembered body parts in downtown trash receptacles!  She was my special joy every day!  Love u2!  xo
 — starr

Thanks 2u2, psychofemale!  Glad u dig it!  :-)
 — starr

this poem gives me meditation as i sit in writing workshop at school. good
 — infinity

L24 is delightfully punny!  

Poignant, genuine, heart-lifting, heart-breaking, and a dash of macabre humor--everything life (and poetry) should be.  Kudos, as always, Starr.  You shine!
 — sybarite

Thanks infinity and syb 4 the touching comments and am glad that this reached u in the right places.  :-)  
 — starr

Eh, 24 kinda killed it for me, cause the rest was a really powerful tale of simple pleasures, but I guess i'm just not very funny=]
 — Callisto

Oh, Callisto!  (Sounds like an opera!)  Hehe.  That last line was a one-liner I'd always use with Ellie.  This poem was written completely with her in mind, so I sorta had 2 step out of my own self in order that I could do her just right through a poem!  You ARE funny!  :-)
 — starr

creepy
 — unknown

This comment has been suspended by a moderator.

Very, but to know her was to truly, truly aDORE her.  She was my favorite little angel and sadly, she spent the last of her senior years in a homeless shelter and then in a nursing home where she passed with a kidney tumor.  She was the very reason I went 2 work every day for 7 years.  My sweet (and funny) Ellie!  :-)
 — starr

soup herb
 — larrylark

LOL@ Larry!  You're STILL one of my all-time favorites, buddy!  :-)
 — starr

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