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The Wordsmith's Forge
The Writing & Other Projects of Elizabeth Barrette
Poem: "Daddy's Little Girl"

This poem came out of the November 5, 2013 Poetry Fishbowl.  It was inspired by a prompt from Dreamwidth user Rosieknight.  It also fills the square "a kiss goodnight" in my 10-6-13 card for the Origfic Bingo fest.  This poem has been sponsored by technoshaman.  It belongs to the series One God's Story of Mid-Life Crisis.

Daddy's Little Girl

Shaeth was exhausted.
He had no idea it would be
so difficult to watch Desdemona
while her mother Agleca
was busy sacking a city.

She fussed and squalled
and demanded to be fed
at inconvenient times.

She also cast dark magic
with no control whatsoever.

"I'm sorry about the mess,"
Shaeth said sheepishly.

"Don't worry, dear," Glenta said
as she swept the last of the dung beetles
into a pan and emptied them into the hearth.
"All infants make messes."

"Well, that's reassuring," Shaeth said.
He knew nothing about infants;
that was the purview of grandmothers,
not gods of evil or alcohol.
As previously instructed,
he shifted his daughter up
so that he could burp her.

Desdemona gurgled
and spit up a blob of acid
that began eating through the rag
that Shaeth had draped over his shoulder.
Hastily he wiped her mouth
and then added the rag to the hearth fire.

Then Shaeth put her down
in the cradle made from half a wine barrel.
A tap of his finger made the mobile spin,
colored glass winking in the firelight.

Shaeth leaned over the barrel
to kiss his daughter good night.
Desdemona smiled at him,
and his heart melted.

She might be the prophesied
Goddess of Evil in waiting (or not)
but for now, she was just a baby,

and he loved her.

* * *


The dung beetles are a reference to the joke that God is inordinately fond of beetles.  It's a favorite of mine because it shows the difference between mortal and divine thinking.  Humans get distracted by photogenic megafauna; deities have a finer grasp of environmental detailing.

Desdemona has a very simple wine barrel cradle.  These can also be suspended with ropes, posts, or rockers.

A glass bottle mobile or wind chime may be made with rings, bottom discs, or random pieces.  There are instructions for how to cut wine bottles and how to make wine bottle wind chimes.

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8 comments or Leave a comment
From: technoshaman Date: November 11th, 2013 02:43 pm (UTC) (Link)

Few things can melt an old jaded man's heart like the love of a little girl. This I grok to be truth.
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: November 11th, 2013 05:29 pm (UTC) (Link)


I've seen it too. Behold the power of sugar & spice. Just, you know, some girls' spice is ghost pepper ...
mdlbear From: mdlbear Date: November 12th, 2013 12:38 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: Aww...


My older daughter (now 27) recently came to dinner with her own jar of ghost pepper salsa, in case our chili was insufficiently spicy.
thnidu From: thnidu Date: November 12th, 2013 04:38 am (UTC) (Link)
Whoo, I have a lot of catching up to do with Shaeth!

Typo: perview
→ purview
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: November 12th, 2013 04:57 am (UTC) (Link)

Thank you!

Typo fixed. Enjoy the poetry!
thnidu From: thnidu Date: November 12th, 2013 05:55 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: Thank you!

And when I saw the title in the subject line, my mind went immediately to Julia Ecklar's very different song of the same name (YouTube 5:43).
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: November 12th, 2013 06:03 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: Thank you!

Wow, that's quite a song.

Yyyyyeah ... I wouldn't like to see what Desdemona would do if anyone messed with her parents.
thnidu From: thnidu Date: November 12th, 2013 05:59 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: Thank you!

I always do! Sorry I didn't mention it this time.
8 comments or Leave a comment