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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Sport or Fitness (02/15/07)

TITLE: This Old Beached Whale
By Venice Kichura


“Oh where oh where’s my frying pan?”
I searched through pots ‘n pans.
“Just look beneath the sink,” Ed said,
Beside the soda cans.”

“Gee thanks,” I smirked and grabbed the pan,
Then “taped” my hands and mouth;
Since my dear husband has retired
He’s rearranged our house.

Our spices now are ABCed
As well as our canned goods
And I’m about to lose my mind
As Mamma said I would.

She’d said, “You’ll have him all day long,
I’m warning you right now,
Unless you guide him out the door.”
The question though is “how”.

He’s not stressed out since he’s retired,
No boss or overtime,
But we both know he needs some pals,
Why can’t he work part-time?

An extrovert he talks all day---
He misses friends at work,
He even talks to strangers now,
The corner grocer clerk.

And here I am an introvert
Who longs to be alone,
So I can write without a sound,
A house that’s all my own.

Then God just dropped three little words
Into my prayers one day,
The Fitness Center, down the street,
Oh sign him up today.

When I suggested he should go
He smiled and said, “Sounds good,”
As I shot up a silent “thanks!”
So glad he understood.

But then he glared at my fat rear;
The air grew very still.
He calmly said, “Please come along.
I’ll gladly foot the bill.”

“I’ve been there, done that,” I replied,
Don’t you recall last year?
I fizzled out the last three months
Though started out sincere.”

Yet somehow I drove down with him
If just to check it out,
Although I wasn’t sure I’d join,
Had more than just a doubt.

At least they had some TVs there
So I would not get bored
When I work out with weights and bikes
And push-ups to record.

I glanced up at a TV set
And saw right on the news,
The man from Michelin lost weight,
Spare tires, he did lose.

Okay, now Lord, I hear ‘ya clear,
I’ll cut back on my food;
This old beached whale will join the gym
And one day be renewed.

Then Ed inquired, “Please, what’s the time
When most folks here work out?
I want to make some friends in town.
Retired, I’ve been without.”

But I chimed in, “Oh let me come
When others are away.
The less they see this old beached whale,
The better off, I say.”

As Ed left early the next day
For his aerobics class,
I got some needed writing done;
My goals I did surpass.

Then spent, Ed fell through the front door
At quarter after one,
But thrilled he’d met new friends today
And now my turn for “fun”.

I trudged into the gym and groaned.
“What have I signed up for?
I am the oldest woman here,
The next is 24.”

With college kids and trim young moms
On every single bike,
I stood upon the last tread mill
And sighed, “I’ll take a hike.”

At 2.4 (that’s miles per hour)
I “crawled” at my own pace
And marveled at the younger folks,
At 5.2 they race.

Instead of news, they stared at soaps,
And trashy talk show guests,
Who shared their filth on Dr. Phil,
Their lives, a jumbled mess.

One day I took my treasured book,
Determined to ignore.
I read The Purpose-Driven Life
For all God had in store.

Then much to my surprise I heard
A shapely, tanned housewife,
Flick off her soap and softly cry,
“Is there more to this life?”

“Twas then I closed my book and prayed,
I hear ‘ya, loud and clear.
Guess you can use this old beached whale
To rescue souls held dear?

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This article has been read 1149 times
Member Comments
Member Date
TJ Nickel02/22/07
I really appreciated both the humor and the internal conflict within this piece.
Betty Castleberry02/23/07
Very enjoyable. I'm still smiling.
Edy T Johnson 02/23/07
I had to read this outloud to my husband---it sounds too much like our story! Well done!
Verna Cole Mitchell 02/23/07
Just delightful! Good job!
valerie chambers02/23/07
I thought this was soooo funny.I loved the overall message and how you brought it out.
Sharlyn Guthrie02/23/07
Your title and self-depricating approach throughout added charm to this piece. Fun to read.
Marilyn Schnepp 02/24/07
A great poetic read for this carbon copy of the old beached whale; truly delightful, entertaining and very enjoyable from a talented and charming writer/poet.
Allison Egley 02/24/07
Oh, great job. The meter and rhyme were nearly perfect. I started singing the first verse, then stopped, then went back to discover I COULD sing the whole thing if I wanted. lol Kept me smiling the whole time.
Jacquelyn Horne02/24/07
Liked this poem. I've often said women look forward to their husbands retiring until they realize that what they get out of it is "wall to wall husband". Cute poem.
Helen Paynter02/25/07
I enjoyed this from the beginning to the end. What fun!
Joanne Sher 02/25/07
Delightful in every way! I enjoyed the humor, the message, the details. Wonderful stuff!
Jan Ackerson 02/25/07
Great title, clever writing, really well-mastered poetic skills. Excellent all around.
Joanney Uthe02/26/07
My favorite part of this poem is how the MC had to learn that God's answer was for HER not for her husband. Great poem.
Tabiatha Tallent02/26/07
Ha! I loved this. Very entertaining read.