photo by Moss on Unsplash. Used with permission
His choice of her as wife must clear enough betoken
that he has a predilection for the damaged and the broken.
When they met, ’twas clear she was a maiden in distress.
She’d tipped a cocktail over and ruined her favorite dress.
He furnished first a hanky, and when it proved ineffective,
he replaced the sodden garment with a new one less defective.
She seemed to have no talent save for partying and shopping.
Her credit cards were all maxed out, but still she wasn’t stopping.
Prada, Hermes, Target, Ross—she loved to shop them all.
After Amazon, her favorite was, of course, the mall.
She never checked the price tags. Didn’t money grow on trees?
But she had a fatal beauty that brought him to his knees.
Enchanted by her problems, he sought to solve them all.
He’d demonstrate his prowess. He’d get right on the ball.
He fixed her dripping kitchen sink and jacked up her foundation,
solved her termite problem and her rodent infestation.
And once her house was perfect, his role clear as her savior,
he settled in to trying to solve her bad behavior.
Language lessons, charm school, manicures and waxing.
It’s clear she found these self-improvement strategies most taxing.
She flunked out of the classes and grew back all the hair.
And yet he felt no let-down. He was feeling debonaire
as he came up before her and sank down on one knee,
produced a six-carat diamond and a “Will you marry me?”
The advent of their wedding found his family full of wrath.
They prayed she’d trip upon the stairs or drown within her bath.
But fate did not oblige them, and soon there was a wedding—
the showers and the ceremony, honeymoon and bedding.
He had bought a bride as though purchasing a house.
A little money down and the rest when she was spouse.
She brought her problems with her and once he’d paid her debts—
her bills and parking tickets—then there were the pets.
A cockatoo, a cobra, a Saint Bernard, a kitten.
They filled his living room, his den, and yet he was still smitten.
After a month, his house in tatters, patience growing thin,
her extended family started moving in.
Her father was a gambler, her mother fond of gin.
Her little brother played the drums, which set up quite the din.
Yet not a friend felt sorry for these things that disconcerted him.
His servants soon gave notice and his family deserted him.
They’d all given their warnings—advice he hadn’t heeded,
yet he marveled over where friends went when they were really needed!
The moral never occurs at the start, where it is needed,
probably because it knows that it won’t be heeded.
Experience works better than any threat or warning
to curb initial excitement in favor of deep mourning.
The end is most predictable. The marriage didn’t last,
and with no prenuptial, the lot was surely cast.
They split his fortune down the middle. She made off with half,
but she had to take her family, so he had the last laugh.
The animals went to a zoo. The drums went with her brother.
He packed up all her cousins and her father and her mother
and left them on the doorstep of the mansion that she’d bought.
And so ends our story with its moral clearly taught.
All dragons were slain long ago and white knights are passé,
so solving maidens’ problems is clearly déclassé.
If you wish to save the world, try starting a foundation.
Send needy kids to summer camp or fund their education.
Chivalry, I fear is dead, so don’t try to revive it.
For as I’ve demonstrated, there’s a chance you won’t survive it!
Prompt words for today are enchanted, damage, advent, predilection and bath.