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Hortense Hippopotamus

Hortense Hippopotamus

For Jim Carney

A great many things may happen between the cup and the upper lip.

At 2PM she rises up from her armchair and cable news network

and places a kettle on the stove. She imagines that she can balance

an egg on her nose, tries three times then bends down to clean up

the sticky mess. The 3 yolks in the white blob made a face at her,

well a squished face as the eyes we’re a bit out of sorts, but the egg

man did make for an interesting bit of afternoon company and so

she poured tea for two and then set out a red gingham dish towel

and a plate of cookies on the floor next to her new friend and then

began to tell Mr. Eggs of her two sons off in the Army, a daughter

who lives in a large pond at the park and has an excellent supply

of food and friendly neighbors. Mr. Eggs hadn’t touched her tea

or any of her special raisin cookies that, at one time was the toast

of Elmwood elementary, but no matter she thought, he looks not

well and maybe he won’t mind if I eat the last cookie on the plate.

She could always get more but didn’t want him to think she didn’t

watch her figure. But how silly she was being, Mr. Eggs is a kind

man and would never entertain such a foolish opinion of her. And

so she warmed their cups and then, getting herself off of the floor,

tipped her hand to her head to say ta, and then using a kitchen rag

cleaned up Mr. Eggs, then placed the dishes into the sink, cleaned

and then walked back to her armchair, television and her live news.