By Megan Starbuck
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She was born “Ima Lone.”
Ima didn’t like being surrounded by children
With no parents and no place to call her own.
For years as she grew up,
Whenever someone asked her name
She always introduced herself by saying, “Ima Lone.”
She didn’t like who she was;
So when Mr. Starr came around
Wearing his expensive clothes,
Riding in a white limo, eating fancy food,
With people always wanting to talk to him—
She married him and was immediately “Ima Starr.”
She loved introducing herself now
And always begged people to ask her name
So she could shout dramatically, “Ima Starr!”
But soon she got tired of people criticizing everything about her.
She became so self-conscious that she vowed to get more in shape.
Marrying Mr. Nutt helped her reach this goal.
Their wedding cake was sugar-free
And they went for a ten mile jog the next morning at five—
After a breakfast of cereal, soy milk, and vitamins.
Then it was only tofu and nuts with a protein shake for the rest of the day.
But after a while it just got embarrassing—
Especially when she grabbed a can of peanuts,
And said “You are what you eat,”
Then proceeded to laugh obnoxiously saying “Ima Nutt!”
Next she met Mr. Bragger and was very impressed
By all the things he said he could do.
So she stopped eating peanuts and married him.
No one ever asked her name then
Because they already knew.
She boasted it everywhere she went: “Ima Bragger,
And I don’t care who you are—or what you can do
Cuz I know I can do it better.”
But then she realized that wasn’t true.
So she decided to marry the man
Who had spent much time at their house—
So much time that he’d almost worn out his welcome.
Mr. Guest took Ima to visit friends and family
The whole first year of their marriage.
And when she perceived that she was being treated harshly
(Like being told she had to sleep on the couch
Or cook her own meal)
She was taken back and objected,
“But I’m, I’m, I’m Ima Guest.”
When she got sick of being a Guest,
She married Mr. Snoop whom she’d noticed
Creeping around everywhere.
Whenever someone caught her reading their mail,
She’d stand up very straight
And distract them by saying:
“Ima Snoop. What’s your name?”
But one day it went too far,
And she got thrown in jail
Where she met Mr. Slasher.
He was to die for!
In fact, he put to death
Anything that stood between them.
They were out of jail and married within weeks.
Everything was going well
Until she slashed his throat.
When she woke up to that realization,
She said, “Ima Slasher, what have you done?”
Not liking the sound of where her life was headed,
She married Mr. Bell
To give her life a different tune.
He was loud and did everything with a cling.
She loved how the sweet tone of his voice
Rang in her ears throughout the day.
Then there came a day when she no longer
Liked the gong in his voice,
But what she liked even less
Was when she introduced herself by singing “Ima Bell,”
And then heard her own voice ringing and dinging.
She quickly married Mr. Bishop
Because no one else would have her.
(They found her voice annoying.)
But Mr. Bishop deeply loved her and her voice
Because it reminded him of church bells.
He went on and on in a booming voice
About how beautiful and pure and fair the church is.
Soon Ima greeted everyone by saying,
“How be-ist it with thee, O sinner?
I condemn-est not thou for thine wicked deeds.
I would-est not ever do such a thing
For Ima Bishop.”
Soon she and her husband had a disagreement
Over who was more righteous,
So they divorced each other.
Then she married Mr. Mann
Because she loved his strength and bravery.
He taught her to hunt, kill bugs, and fix appliances
Until she no longer needed him.
She got tired of being a Mann
And of being married
So by herself she used her strength to help others.
Until Mr. Loan.
He did the same things as her—
He always lent himself to others
And at their wedding they pledged to give their lives
To one another,
But it was only temporary—
When his life was finally spent,
She was alone again,
And for the rest of her life,
She thought of him every time someone asked her name
And she replied “Ima Loan.”
Then she joyfully lent herself
In any way she could.
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