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Poem: "Cover Stories" - The Wordsmith's Forge
The Writing & Other Projects of Elizabeth Barrette
ysabetwordsmith
ysabetwordsmith
Poem: "Cover Stories"

This poem was inspired by the "hogging the blankets" square on my Cottoncandy_bingo card.  It belongs to the Schrodinger's Heroes  project, and you can explore that further on the menu page.  It is posted here as a bonus perk for the September 4, 2012 Poetry Fishbowl reaching the $400 threshold.




Cover Stories


It started the night that Bailey crashed in Alex's bed
and stole all the covers and Alex pushed him onto the floor.
A sleepy (and somewhat bruised) Bailey
stumbled into the kitchen the next morning,
complaining about Alex being unwilling to share.

Pat merely raised his eyebrows.
"I know how it goes," he said.
"Some of my spice hog the blankets too."
"With so many of you, how do you deal with that?"
Bailey wondered as he poured a cup of coffee.
"We got more blankets," Pat said.

The next time the issue arose,
Quinn and Morgan got into a tug-of-war
over the ratty secondhand afghan
on the couch in the common room.

"Clearly something needs to be done about this,"
Pat said, peeling the tattered afghan
off the two combatants.
"Fine," said Quinn, "I'll get my own."
He stalked out of the room.

"Oh my god, that's hideous,"
Alex said when Quinn returned
wrapped in a purple-white-green striped afghan.
"It's the genderqueer pride flag," Quinn huffed.
"It is still hideous," Bailey said.
"I am not speaking to you," Quinn said.

And didn't, for days.

Eventually Pat showed up with an armload of afghans.
"We had some spares," he said.  "This is yours."
He handed Quinn one striped in blue-pink-white-pink-blue. 
"Transgender pride," Quinn said.  "It'll do.  Thanks."

"This one is mine," Pat said as he unfolded an afghan
striped blue-red-black with a gold π in the center.
"Choice," Morgan said.  "What is it?  Geek pride?"
Pat laughed.  "Poly pride," he said.  "My wives made it."

"I made the intersex one just in case," Pat said,
indicating a pink-yellow-blue afghan.
Then Pat laid out the magenta-yellow-cyan one
and explained, "Pansexual pride."
"I love it," Quinn said.
"Quinn never met a color he didn't like,"
Alex said. 

There it stayed, for a while,
until Kay returned from a munch
bearing a black-and-blue striped afghan with
a white center stripe and a red heart in one corner.
"Kink pride," she explained, "and I also
brought a spare in case Dusty sleeps over."
The second one was the classic rainbow
of the gay pride flag, but done in zig-zag.

"Some of us are feeling a little left out,"
Bailey said, looking at Ash.
But Ash just shrugged.

Pat knitted a bisexual pride afghan for Bailey,
striped pink and purple and blue.
"Is  there even an asexual pride flag?" Bailey said.
"Give a guy time to buy more yarn," Pat said.
Before long, he presented Ash with an afghan
done in black, gray, white, and purple stripes.

One day Chris showed up and said,
"My cousin that nobody ever talks about
stayed the weekend and left this behind,"
he said.  "Momma told me to get it out of the house
or she'd light it on fire.  Any idea what it's for?"
He unfurled an afghan striped in shades of brown and gray
with a large black pawprint in one corner.

"Bear pride," Kay and Quinn chorused. 
"What does that even mean?" Chris asked.
"Gay men who like big butch guys with body hair," said Kay.
"You should invite your cousin to visit; he'd fit right in here."
Chris blinked at her.  "I'll ... think about it," he said.
"You do that," Kay said.  "Meanwhile, pull up some couch."

"I guess the straight guy gets the plain one,"
Chris said, picking up the ratty old blue afghan.
"Don't be silly," Pat said.  "Yours just isn't done yet."
He pulled out a half-finished wad of yarn,
pink-and-blue columns with a white heart in the center.

"What about Tim the Tentacle Monster?"
Bailey asked one rainy afternoon.
"He can share with me," Ash offered.
"Tim doesn't hog the blankets the way you do."
"I do not," Bailey protested.
"Do too," Alex said, and stuck out her tongue.

It way Kay who found the solution to that one.
"Look what I got at a yard sale!" she crowed,
dumping out something in a riot of colors.
There were stripes and granny squares,
zig-zags and little three-dimensional flowers.

"It's a box-bottom blanket," Pat said, grinning.
"Yup, and it makes absolutely no sense," Kay said.
"I think Tim will love it," Pat said,
and sure enough, Tim did.

"So how are we ever going to explain this
if someone asks about our decorating scheme?"
Alex asked, looking around the common room
where afghans sprawled in colorful array.
"We'll need a really good cover story."

"Yarn sale?" Pat suggested.
"Explosion in a paint factory," said Bailey.
"Spectrographic accident," said Alex.

"Sex and gender studies class project,"
Quinn said, "we've got it covered."
"You win," everyone agreed.

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

15 comments or Leave a comment
Comments
From: siliconshaman Date: September 9th, 2012 01:56 pm (UTC) (Link)
This one I like! [and that sounds like a really comfortable place!]
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: September 11th, 2012 02:23 am (UTC) (Link)

Thank you!

>>This one I like!<<

Yay!

>> [and that sounds like a really comfortable place!] <<

Yeah, they do have an awesome lair with a very comfy common room, and a great kitchen.
(Deleted comment)
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: September 11th, 2012 02:37 am (UTC) (Link)

Thank you!

>> *laughs delightedly* <<

I'm glad you like this.

>> I'm knitting myself blankets for the winter, and this has given me ideas for more squares of the afghan .. colourful and made in a little show of support for all those prides I literally can't march for at the moment. <<

Okay, now I totally want an afghan, either knitted or crocheted, made from all different styles of pride flag. I love afghans. The one I actually have thrown over the couch is a box-bottom afghan done in plain multicolored stripes, and we have another with red-white-green squares for the winter holidays.
(Deleted comment)
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: September 11th, 2012 07:19 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Thank you!

>> I've been having a problem with standard meditation techniques because of my collection of odd issues, so I was casting around for an alternative and I'd seen people describe knitting as meditative ... so bingo. <<

The most common meditation described -- blanking your mind -- is the hardest to do, and that's often what people get stuck on. Repetitive action is a type of moving meditation, and much easier to learn. Knitting, sewing, walking, etc. can all work.

>>And the calm rhythmic-ness of the knitting has been a perfect meditation tool.

(My shields are much better for the regularity of practise as well!)<<

I am so happy to hear that.
From: technoshaman Date: November 17th, 2012 07:43 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Thank you!

Ohhhhhh. Today I have learnt something. Moving meditation.

AH! Now the penny drops! There's a reason Zen and motorcycles are associated... it's moving meditation.

*HUGS* Thank you.

(Actually, I learned a *lot* from all the links... and the ending wins, as usual :)
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: November 17th, 2012 07:51 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Thank you!

>> Ohhhhhh. Today I have learnt something. Moving meditation. <<

There are many different types of meditation. Pattern gazing and mantras are also very popular, found around the world.

>> AH! Now the penny drops! There's a reason Zen and motorcycles are associated... it's moving meditation. <<

So is motorcycle maintenance. There are two basic categories of motorcycle: the kind that almost never break down, but when they do, you have to take them to a dealer; and the kind that frequently break down, but you can almost always fix the problem yourself with a few minutes of tinkering. Zen motorcyclists buy the latter.

>>*HUGS* Thank you.<<

*HUGS* You're welcome.

>> (Actually, I learned a *lot* from all the links... and the ending wins, as usual :) <<

Yay! I love when I can teach people something new by making it sound cool in a story or poem.
thesilentpoet From: thesilentpoet Date: June 24th, 2013 10:31 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: Thank you!


Did you ever get this afghan?
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: June 24th, 2013 05:47 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Thank you!

Not so far, alas.
cflute From: cflute Date: March 9th, 2017 05:19 am (UTC) (Link)

a little something for everyone

>> "We'll need a really good cover story."
[...]

"Sex and gender studies class project,"
Quinn said, "we've got it covered." <<

Excellent answer, and a bad pun for a bonus. *giggle*


>> Did you ever get this afghan? <<

> Not so far, alas. <

Gee, and I'd already started a notes file for that exact purpose, before I even got to this comment. *huge grin*

Of course one stores afghans (ones in active use, anyway) on the backs of furniture - it keeps them handy where they'll most likely be needed *and* provides a nice decorating element!
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: March 9th, 2017 05:47 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: a little something for everyone

>> Gee, and I'd already started a notes file for that exact purpose, before I even got to this comment. *huge grin* <<

3q 3q 3q :D

I love afghans.

>> Of course one stores afghans (ones in active use, anyway) on the backs of furniture - it keeps them handy where they'll most likely be needed *and* provides a nice decorating element! <<

Exactly. Currently we have the red-and-green one over the back of the lovechair, and the box-bottom one over the couch. Sometimes we swap out the red-and-green for a fleece blanket of blue horses. Our living room is forest-colored with greens, browns, and some blue-green.
thnidu From: thnidu Date: November 18th, 2012 02:19 am (UTC) (Link)
"cover story"... OYYYY!!
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: November 18th, 2012 02:30 am (UTC) (Link)

*laugh*

I couldn't resist. I like linguistic humor. You'll notice that a great many of my titles are puns, portmanteaus, or catchphrases.
thnidu From: thnidu Date: November 18th, 2012 02:23 am (UTC) (Link)
Oh, I should comment on the story.

:-)
From: (Anonymous) Date: June 20th, 2015 05:45 am (UTC) (Link)
Oh wow they ended up with close to a full set there. Maybe throw in a Hawaiian flag and some sciency things to camofloge the afghan pile as just relevant interests? Make it look like a random assortment and no one will even think to ask. Or just put them in a box, we store ours in a hollow ottoman so our couch looks neater, that way they only are out when someones using them and they don't get damaged/tripped over during any future alien invasions

--Anna Libertas
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: June 20th, 2015 05:56 am (UTC) (Link)

Yes...

>>Oh wow they ended up with close to a full set there.<<

I think they have one for every member of the team now.

>> Maybe throw in a Hawaiian flag and some sciency things to camofloge the afghan pile as just relevant interests? Make it look like a random assortment and no one will even think to ask. <<

Oh, that's a good idea! Feel free to prompt for it during any relevant prompt call. Creative Jam just opened.

>>Or just put them in a box, we store ours in a hollow ottoman so our couch looks neater, that way they only are out when someones using them and they don't get damaged/tripped over during any future alien invasions<<

The team seems inclined to store afghans over the backs of furniture, which is what we often do.
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