Mr. Pillow Poem by Barbara Hamby

Mr. Pillow



I'm watching a space invasion movie in which a wife
tells her pilot husband that she hugs his pillow

when he is away. Well, sure, every girl does that,
takes comfort in Mr. Pillow when her boyfriend is gone,

but not when Bela Lugosi is breaking the lock
on your prefab fifties bungalow. You fight him off,

but he still knows where you are, and the police don't care,
or they're bumbling incompetents, and your husband is big

but not too bright; let's face it, he's not even a pilot,
he's an actor and not a very good one at that,

and what Mr. Pillow lacks in facial definition,
he more than makes up for in his cuddle quotient,

although there is the genital dilemma. Poor Mr. Pillow
is sadly lacking in that area. I hate staying in hotels

because of the king-size beds. I did not get married
not to sleep with my husband. If I had, Mr. Pillow

would do just as well, because he's certainly never sarcastic
and he'd let me run my credit cards up as high as I want

and never make me save for retirement, so I have to admit
that I have, on occasion, used Mr. Pillow to make my husband

jealous, as when he's sitting on his side of an enormous
hotel bed, way over in a far island of dull yellow

lamplight, reading a fascinating article on flyfishing
in Antarctica or the destruction of life as we know it

on Planet Earth, and I turn to Mr. Pillow, hold him tight
and say, "Oh, Mr. Pillow, you know what a woman needs

from a man." Getting no response from the outer reaches
of Patagonia, I whisper, "Oh, Mr. Pillow, you make me blush."

"Would you shut up about Mr. Pillow?" "Oh, Mr. Pillow!"
I say as he flies across the room, and I get just what I want

and maybe what I deserve. Sometimes it's so difficult
to make these distinctions. Puritanism dies hard,

and if there are ghouls lurking in the yard, who's to say
they have any less right to be here than we do in our cozy

little beds all the while looking at the closet door, thinking,
Where are the cannibals, where do those zombies live?

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