?

Log in

No account? Create an account
entries friends calendar profile PenUltimate Productions Website Previous Previous Next Next
Poem: "The Wrong House" - The Wordsmith's Forge
The Writing & Other Projects of Elizabeth Barrette
ysabetwordsmith
ysabetwordsmith
Poem: "The Wrong House"

This poem came out of the October 18, 2011 Poetry Fishbowl.  It was inspired by a prompt from thesilentpoet regarding Elijah the prophet and Passover.  It was sponsored by zianuray and thesilentpoet. You can find the other Monster House poems listed on the Serial Poetry page.


The Wrong House


We were just sitting down to dinner
when a voice yelled from the front porch,
"Never mind, already, I'll open the door for myself!"

Our daughter ran to get the door.
Bemused, we followed her,
and there at our doorstep
stood a tall bearded man
wearing elegant dark clothes.

"Sorry, sir," she said.
"Naomi's house is four doors that way."
She pointed helpfully down the street.

As we returned to the kitchen,
I asked, "What was that all about?"

"Oh, we talked about Passover
in school this week, and Naomi brought in
her grandfather's seder plate for show and tell.
So we learned about Elijah and the door and the extra cup."

Then our daughter giggled.
"I didn't know Naomi was 'family' though,"
she said.  "Maybe I can invite her over."

Tags: , , , , , ,
Current Mood: busy busy

21 comments or Leave a comment
Comments
thesilentpoet From: thesilentpoet Date: October 20th, 2011 01:59 am (UTC) (Link)

Such a great concept you took with this prompt! Usually, one of my younger sisters or I open the door for Elijah - not sure we'd have such a reaction to this.

But yeah, love the irritation of Elijah here. You visit enough houses in one night - you're bound to be. Not to mention. All that wine.
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: October 20th, 2011 02:21 am (UTC) (Link)

Thank you!

I figured it would be like when you go to a house where you're expected, but the door is locked -- that's annoying. And then you find out you've gotten the wrong address...
thesilentpoet From: thesilentpoet Date: October 20th, 2011 02:27 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: Thank you!


Oh, very much so! Besides, I'm sure poor Elijah's had the door shut on him many times.

(My grandmother tells a story from when she was little, when she went to go open the door for Elijah, only to find her cousin on the doorstep on leave from the military. It's become a bit of family lore - we joke about opening the door for cousin [X], although I'm sure Elijah would be welcome too.)

Passover's not until April, but I'd love to print this out to bring to share at my family seder. (No electronics allowed at the seder table, after all.)




ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: October 20th, 2011 02:39 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: Thank you!

>>My grandmother tells a story from when she was little, when she went to go open the door for Elijah, only to find her cousin on the doorstep on leave from the military.<<

*laugh* Wow, that's quite a family story.

>>Passover's not until April, but I'd love to print this out to bring to share at my family seder. (No electronics allowed at the seder table, after all.)<<

Go ahead! Poetry is for sharing. You might like another of my fishbowl poems: http://ysabetwordsmith.livejournal.com/172109.html
thesilentpoet From: thesilentpoet Date: October 20th, 2011 02:43 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: Thank you!


Very vivid imagery in the linked poem. I shall make note of it come April as well. :)

siege From: siege Date: October 20th, 2011 02:13 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Thank you!

I like that story. Maybe Elijah sent him as a seder blessing. :)
fayanora From: fayanora Date: October 20th, 2011 03:09 am (UTC) (Link)
I don't get it.
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: October 20th, 2011 03:13 am (UTC) (Link)

Hmm...

Which part didn't make sense?
fayanora From: fayanora Date: October 20th, 2011 03:20 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: Hmm...

All of it.
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: October 20th, 2011 03:54 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: Hmm...

Oh. Well. 0_o I'm not sure how much help this will be, but I'll try.

It's Passover. The Monster House folks aren't Jewish. Elijah the prophet, who is supposed to visit all the Jewish houses, shows up at their house by mistake, and is annoyed because he expects the door to be open and it isn't. The daughter helpfully directs him to the Jewish family down the street. Then she figures that if Naomi is used to having Elijah show up in person for Passover, she probably wouldn't flip out over the nonhuman residents in Monster House and thus would make a good playmate.
fayanora From: fayanora Date: October 20th, 2011 03:55 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: Hmm...

Ah, okay. Thanks!
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: October 20th, 2011 04:07 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: Hmm...

You're welcome! It helps to know when things aren't working perfectly.
kitrona From: kitrona Date: October 20th, 2011 06:12 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: Hmm...

Thank you... I was confused by the comment about 'family' but you explained it. :)
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: October 20th, 2011 06:14 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: Hmm...

Within many subcultures, 'family' is a euphemism for 'one of us.' It's used that way in queer culture, Pagan culture, fannish culture, etc. (Which makes 'family values' as an exclusionary phrase rather amusing.)
kitrona From: kitrona Date: October 20th, 2011 06:17 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: Hmm...

Oh, I use it that way too, I just wasn't sure what she was referencing.
wcg From: wcg Date: October 20th, 2011 03:28 am (UTC) (Link)
Thanks for teaching me about Elijah and the door and the cup. I hadn't known until just now.
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: October 20th, 2011 03:51 am (UTC) (Link)

You're welcome!

This makes me so happy. Thanks for letting me know. One of my favorite things about writing is introducing people to new ideas or information. That's one reason I love the cultural poems so much, and why I often include links to anything that isn't common knowledge.
kelkyag From: kelkyag Date: October 20th, 2011 07:24 am (UTC) (Link)
<giggles>

Looks like the daughter of the house has found at least two school friends she can introduce her interesting housemates to this fishbowl.
(Deleted comment)
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: October 20th, 2011 03:58 pm (UTC) (Link)

*laugh*

I love that Elijah story. Thanks for sharing.
janetmiles From: janetmiles Date: October 21st, 2011 12:17 am (UTC) (Link)
That seems to me to have a very authentically Jewish voice to it. I like it.

And, like any good Jew, I am reminded of a story.

Abraham Horowitz was a Mossad sleeper agent. He'd been in New York for almost 20 years, waiting for the call to action. Finally, the Mossad had a task for him, and another agent was sent to give him the word.

The second agent flew to New York and took a cab to the apartment building, only to discover, to his horror, that there were three A. Horowitzes listed.

Gathering up his courage, he went to the first apartment and knocked on the door. When a man of about the right age answered, the agent asked, "Horowitz?"

"Yes," the man answered, "may I help you?"

"The oranges are ripe in Valencia."

"Nu?"

"The oranges are ripe in Valencia."

"Oh!" the man exclaimed cheerfully, "I'm Horowitz the violin teacher. You want Horowitz the spy, upstairs, 3B."
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: October 21st, 2011 12:43 am (UTC) (Link)

Thank you!

>>That seems to me to have a very authentically Jewish voice to it. I like it.<<

Yay! *happydance* I do my best to capture the flavor of other cultures when I write about them. Confirmation of accuracy is greatly appreciated!

>>"Oh!" the man exclaimed cheerfully, "I'm Horowitz the violin teacher. You want Horowitz the spy, upstairs, 3B."<<

*laugh* I love this. Thank you for sharing.
21 comments or Leave a comment