Charles Wax

A Wholly Unprecendented Wound

I said to Barry Waldbaum in the Teacher’s Center,
“One of my students asked me, ‘What’s a hermaphrodite? ’”
“That some kinda mollusk, Bernstein? ” he said,
“cause I think I seen that creature on NATURE.”
“Got both male and female sex organs.”
“I was born with four toes.”
“I never knew. Which foot? ”
“Left. A missing little thing like that
and my father was against me from the start.
First time I went to the beach
a crowd of people hovered around me.
Well, when my father seen that
he right away started charging a nickel
for a look and for a dame
you could play ‘This little Piggy
went to market’
with them four toes.
This one guy wanted to rent me
for his daughter’s birthday party.
‘Five dollars, ’ my father says.
‘All the cake the kid can eat, ’ he shot back.
‘That’s for him—what about me? ’
says the old man.
From then on I never took off my socks
always wore ‘em, both
cause if I only had the left sock
people would think
there was something funny.
Two socks never drew no attention,
even in the shower when I was in high school
I told the guys I didn’t wanna catch no fungus.
They believed me.
Julius Szollosy and Arnold Tranen did the same,
thought it was a good idea.”
“Your wife? ” I asked.
“How you mean, Bernstein? ”
“When you’re...intimate, socks on or off? ”
“On. After so many years
she got use to it
the socks
the toes.”

Submitted: Wednesday, January 28, 2009

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Comments about this poem (A Wholly Unprecendented Wound by Charles Wax )

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  • Tai Chi Italy (1/28/2009 7:49:00 PM)

    lol you have such a wonderfully uplifting conversational narrative Charles...poor man! but at least he socked it to her! smiling at you, Tai (Report) Reply

  • Susan Jarvis (1/28/2009 8:18:00 AM)

    There's a special skill to writing comedy. You have it in abundance, Charles - hilarious! ! S :) (Report) Reply

  • Lynda Robson (1/28/2009 7:20:00 AM)

    I love the way you narrate the poem to us, another very funny tale, made me laugh,
    some men keep their socks on even if they have five toes on each foot lol,
    Keep writing Charles
    Lynda xxx (Report) Reply

  • Ian Bowen (1/28/2009 6:50:00 AM)

    Charles, what a most enjoyable piece of writing. Love the way you told your story.
    Will have to tell a few of my friends to read this one.10/10
    Ian (Report) Reply

Read all 6 comments »

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