portion of the artwork for Ken Poyner's poetry
The Wedding Present
Ken Poyner

I built a house for the dark woods monster.
Three bedroom ranch, energy efficient
Windows, storm doors front and back.
The attached garage can hold
One car and a small work area,
Peg board all around for hand tools
And the lucky, unused yard instruments.
I put in a foundation rather than
A slab, and so there are steps,
Steps to get in, steps to get out,
Steps away from the garage’s flimsy interior door.
The neighbors suspect nothing.
All work is to code,
And I pay the neighbors’ children
To keep the grass in check, fix
The flower beds when weeds break out.
Now and again someone might see
Something strange at a window,
Catch the door knob rattling, wonder
Why no one answers the bell.
A few are positively put off
By the failure to cherish their knocks.
No one thinks the place is vacant,
And at night there are lights,
And me once a week struggling to bring in groceries.
I did not do it out of my goodness,
Nor out of concern for the deep woods monster,
Nor to save all the silly potential victims
Domesticating him would leave
Free to roam the deep woods to no bad end.
No. I did it for you.
I did it for our plans,
The projected return on investment.
I can imagine myself years from now,
Ready for the last dry stages of matrimony,
A man of means and character,
Locked in the traditions of my circumstance:
The formal man one day with his formal
Betrothed having always this place
And its evil, stunted resident
To fall back on, a place to carry my love
Through the low rent door and into
The favor of my long supported monster,
Both of us elated that we have come to this accommodation at last.
And the three of us then will feast
Each on the other until there are only two,
And one might not be me, and one might not be you.

Return to Archive

FRiGG: A Magazine of Fiction and Poetry | Issue 32 | Spring 2011