Humor Poetry posted March 20, 2023

This work has reached the exceptional level
A poem about marriage, infidelity, and a crossword puzzle.

Sunday Crossword Puzzle

by Scott Dylan Thomas

One Sunday afternoon like so many before,
John Sr. sat in his La-Z-Boy, while his wife was at the store.
Pencil in his teeth, Sunday crossword puzzle on his lap,
He'd work on it for hours until his wife got back.

A rushing wind came through the door, John Sr. was soon awoken.
His wife Joan paid him no mind at all, as if he hadn't spoken.
"What's for dinner?" he barked, "I'm famished from this puzzle.
You know how my brain gets with these things," giving her a nuzzle.

Joan immediately pulled away and told him dinner was made,
"I'm going out with my girlfriends tonight, I'm sure you'll survive some way."
Joan went into their bedroom to powder up and get changed,
While John Sr. opened the fridge to find a tin with his name.

Shiny and metallic, he placed it on a tray,
And read the note from Joan that had this to say:

John Dear, you've been lovely for all of these years,
Providing for our family, I love you sincere.
We have two darling children, all grown as you know.
John Jr. lives in Tuscan, Rachel in Sacramento.
We have five wonderful grandchildren, who we visit all the time,
The kids love having you in all of their lives.
But as the years have passed, we've gotten stagnant in our ways,
And perhaps our best times were in our younger days.
I don't know where we go from here, or for the rest of our lives.
Enjoy the meatloaf and mashed potatoes,
Set it for 325.


John Sr. turned the oven on, and set it as she said,
While the rest of the note was a blur of jumbled words dancing in his head.
So he made his way to the bar, and made himself a drink,
A dry martini, extra olives, from which he took a sip.

He sat back down in his recliner and worked on his puzzle again,
FOUR DOWN was a doozy, a ten-letter word for "sin."
He thought to himself, "T R A N S G E R S S I O N, but that's three more letters than I need.
Theres a W at the beginning, and it ends with a G."

He pressed the eraser against his temple, but nothing came to mind,
So he moved to THREE ACROSS, an easier riddle to try.
A five-letter word for "boring," the clue read, "No yeast."
M A T Z O V was six, one too many, S T A L E was the word he'd need.

TWELVE DOWN ran through S T A L E, crossing at the middle A,
A seven-letter word to describe General Patton, that wasn't "courage" or "bravery."
A soldier, a superhero, a legend, Patton was many things.
John Sr. remembered eating his Wheaties as a kid to be strong like him.

He considered V A L O R and M E T T L E, but nothing seemed to fit,
A U D A C I T Y and B O L D N E S S were eight-letters, and D A R I N G was six.
Just when he was giving up, he considered what Patton would do,
He'd never surrender a mission, he'd always find a way to pull through.

So John Sr. reached for the thesaurus, it was sitting on the shelf,
He always felt like it was cheating, that he'd one day go to hell.
But just this one time, when nobody was looking, he'd use it for a clue,
Patton would do the same, would he not? Would he share a foxhole with you?

John Sr. scanned the words, but nothing seemed quite right,
Until he came upon a seven-letter word, a word he rather liked.
B R A V U R A was the seven-letter word, with the A in the middle all along,
All he had left was FOUR DOWN to finish his puzzle once and for all.

He came back to the clue, "It's not cheating, if you don't believe."
What an abstract idea he thought, an ego he could not feed.
What could this clue be alluding to, some demon he had fought?
Another sip of his martini and he was lost deep in thought.

They never spoke about the affair, they were always set in their ways,
But he knew she knew enough, by the way she sat with her pain.
For there was nothing he could say that would make her change her mind,
Joan was always so good to him, how could he not see the signs?

She was unhappy, bored, tired, and had fallen out of love,
And he did nothing to protect her from the oncoming flood,
Of emotions like resentment, jealousy, fear, and disdain,
Ever since she found out, they've never been the same.

John Sr. ate his meatloaf and made another drink,
He leaned back in his recliner and began to think.
Would Joan be returning home at the end of the night?
Would she still want to be with him after how he made her cry?

He wasn't sure if she meant every word she wrote in that note,
If she'd secretly boarded an airplane, or a cruise around the Cape of Hope.
It felt lonely and empty in the house, now that the kids were gone,
All they had was each other and an unwritten swan song.

John Sr. took the pencil away from his gritting teeth,
FOUR DOWN would haunt him for eternity, like a fate he'd never meet.
There had to be a word, a way to connect it all,
A way to find closure, a way to move on.

Through the window he saw the familiar sight of headlights pulling in,
She'd come home from her night out and come home back to him.
Joan sat in the car awhile, another minute alone,
To be with her thoughts and reflect on all the ways they had grown.

John Sr. stood at the door, he was three sheets to the wind,
The air felt chilled on his hot breath, as the stars began to spin.
He called out to Joan, who sat all alone, silently in the cold,
"Are you coming in or not? Time is all we got, but it's something we can't hold."

She kicked the car door open, tears welling in her eyes,
While John Sr. stood there waiting, impatient as a child.
He had only one word left, one last clue to decipher,
One last hope for redemption, one last chance to not lie to her.

He said to Joan as she came in, "I think we need to talk.
I read the note you left me, and I want to make this work.
I know there are things I've done to you, some things I can never change,
Some things that make me truly regret the choices I have made."

"I am sorry for all the times I've hurt you and all that I have done,
For all the ways I've misbehaved, I wish we could move on.
And for all my misgivings you have had to tolerate,
I have learned from my W R O N G D O I N Gs and all of my mistakes."

Rhyming Poetry Contest contest entry

Scott Dylan Thomas is a writer, poet, musician, and English tutor. He currently lives in Seattle, Washington, where he meets regularly with a close-knit community of aspiring writers, thinkers, and artists. Scott draws inspiration from his environment and experiences and is fearless in his approach to connecting with the human condition.

Pays one point and 2 member cents.

Save to Bookcase Promote This Share or Bookmark
Print It View Reviews

You need to login or register to write reviews. It's quick! We only ask four questions to new members.

© Copyright 2023. Scott Dylan Thomas All rights reserved.
Scott Dylan Thomas has granted, its affiliates and its syndicates non-exclusive rights to display this work.