The Slow-Cooked Sentence

The walrus and the carpenter

Rachael Conlin Levy
Water-gun and woolen socks

One young oyster
“The time has come,” the husband said,
“To talk of many things
Of water-guns and woolen socks
And other summer flings,
And whether we shall all survive
My mother visiting.

“But wait a bit,” the woman cried,
“Before we have our chat
For I’m out of breath from cleaning
And haven’t even sat.
“No hurry,” said the husband.
She thanked him much for that.

“Bottles of wine,” the husband said,
“Is what she’ll chiefly need.
Nesquik and Lays potato chips
Are very good indeed.
Be prepared, my darling dear,
For she’s coming in great speed.”

“Two weeks!” the woman cried,
Turning a little blue,
“We’ll be so busy thinking
Of things for her to do.”
“It may rain,” the husband said.
“Look at those storm clouds brew.”

“It was kind of you to come!
Your stay will be anything but dull,
For we’ve soccer, skating, swimming
And, of course, shopping at the mall.”
The mother-in-law took a drag on her smoke
And said, “I’m ready for it all.”

Four young children hurried up
Eager for their treat.
Their hair was brushed, their faces washed,
Their shoes were clean and neat.
The mother-in-law reached into her bag
And pulled out Twinkies to eat.

Roller rinks, soccer games,
Shopping ’til they dropped.
Mining tour, squirt-gun fights,
Then up again they’d pop.
And every day the sun would hide,
And never the rain did stop.

“It seems a shame,” the mother-in-law said.
“But it’s time to say goodbye.”
So she stuffed her suitcase, kissed the children,
And dabbed at her streaming eyes,
Then spent the next 14 hours
Sleeping in the sky.

“Oh, darling,” said the husband,
“We’ve had a pleasant run.
My mother’s heading home again.”
But answer came there none.
And this was scarcely odd because
All were exhausted from the fun.

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