BLUE LIPS

Blue lipstick and a cigarette hanging from her mouth,
I laughed out loud when I heard her lisp the words, "You louth!"
She spun around and, suddenly, I felt scared and meek
"Hey, mousy one," she called to me, "Did I hear you squeak?"

I wished I was any place but pinned beneath her stare,
Those red-rimmed eyes narrowed and I saw her nostrils flare.
Her beehive hair was muted green, lacquered stiff and neat,
And she lumbered toward me on shuffling, pigeon feet.

Then she wagged a claw-like finger just beneath my nose,
As my color drained away, the fear in me arose.
"Yes, ... you, ... you little pith-ant, whadda you gotta say?"
I saw a vein pulsing in her cheek of mottled grey.

I could not speak a word and I would not meet her eye,
My legs were frozen things and, I knew I dare not cry.
"You come by here and interfere, laugh at what you see,
So who gave you the right to look down your nose at me?

"You're a prithy little mith, with fancy airs and clothes,
With an empty pea-brain and a snotty little nose."
And then she paused and smiled (it was an awful sight)
My limbs began to tremble, thinking only of flight.

"You've lost your tongue," she said and it sounded like a curse,
"Why don't I rip it out and put it in your purse?"
I squeaked for real, and galvanized myself down the street
Running like the hounds of hell were nipping at my feet.

Now that was long ago and my thoughts of it are few,
Yet, still my heart gives a lurch when I see lips of blue,
Then, vividly, I recall the street, the heat, the town,
And my humiliation when that creature dressed me down.

(Sandy Grunow)