Jesus & Jell­-O

The following piece was presented at the Jersey City Writers’ genre event – Recess: Children Stories for Adults. Please enjoy.

It happened. It did. Really. Swear to God!
In a little tot body with legs-­ fat logs.
Girl had a father, but called him John.
“Call me Daddy. Please. Come on.”

Mommy dropped girl for legal weekend
with Daddy how to’s in red teacher pen
so John knew rules and when to bed
“Just at least make sure the girl is fed.”

John was real tall, long wing span
a big roar bike, a bigger red van
an Iron Butterfly, a Buddha from ‘Nam
a makeshift ashtray in a Pabst beer can

John tended bar all night long
but girl in house meant up at dawn
So, he did a cat curl on a Papa San
Girl saw Old Landlady while John snoozed on

Pinching pink cheeks, mixing Jell­-O
Old Landlady taught to tie a rainbow
and told little girl a story Just So
about how bananas became yellow

“As Jell-­O gels and we wait
Go back upstairs for good nap’s sake.”
A good girl agreed, eyed wiggly bait
Wobbled away, left peck in wake

After four corners wiped clean of sand
Girl returned for what was planned
Little first knocked taps, little voice called “Ma’am?”
with no response, girl peeked through jamb

Hungry and bold, girl walked in about
She called Old Landlady with squeaky shout
Thinking no treat, mouth curved to pout
Oh, there’s Old Landlady laid out on couch

Deaf to girl’s begs and long whine
Ignoring the shaking and endless pine
Old Landlady on couch paid girl no mind
So, girl went to kitchen alone to dine

After two corners were wiped clean of gold
Girl told sleepy John “Old Landlady is cold”
He crept downstairs and Lo and Behold
“God” and “Jesus Christ” echoed the hold

After some men took Old Landlady away
Girl asked John “What made her that way?”
“Swallowed a bug,” he said with dismay.
“Stuck in her throat. We should both pray.”


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