MD Kerr

Day 10

A Monkey's wedding

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I paid great attention to drawing the bugs and bananas
laid out on a hostess trolley, for the feast,
struggled to wrap the tails around the branches,
and because at five one’s still quite keen on weddings,
a great big frocked and blooming monkey bride.
(And, with some prompting, a groom squashed in at the side.)

The bugs were really my forté, with carefully counted legs,
the bananas squishy and more a matter of duty,
cos monkeys like that sort of thing. At least,
with such a feast, my title made absolute sense,
but no-one ever adequately explained
why they said the same for simultaneous sun and rain

or why the groom’s inclusion was so important.
I assumed it was one of those many grown-up things
which one day would come clear, like why it’s wrong
to pick up stompies (the real or proverbial kind)
but have found no satisfactory exposition
for the idiom, or the groom’s de-rigeur position.

Thanks to for the prompt to write about a local weather idiom. If anyone does know the origin of "a monkey's wedding", do let me know! And "stompies", by the way, is the Afrikaans word for cigarette butts: "picking up stompies" means eavesdropping other people's conversations, especially the tail-end of them as you come into the room.


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