Liar (for NaPoWriMo, Day 2)

I was once the world champion
in candlepin bowling. This was
three years running, in the ’80s.
(I no longer apologize for my
teased bangs in all the photos, or
my acid-washed bowling pants.)
I keep all my trophies in a case
that my father made for me—
hand-carved, gorgeous, with a
glass front that I dust using the
first-shorn wool of only my best

llamas. (I saved my prize money
carefully—that’s how I bought
this ranch.) Llama ranching has
its own satisfactions, ways to
stay competitive: fiber length
and fineness, for example, or
guarding tendencies—but not
meat production, though this is
a line I’ve been asked to cross,
many times. Nonetheless,
there are times when I miss

the circuit. Candlepin bowlers
are a tightknit group, and my
hand still longs for the ball,
my ears (I can admit this) for
the twin hushed crashes of
pins, then applause. This, not
cruelty, is why I often dream of
lining up the baby llamas, the
crias, quietly knocking them
down before their mothers
even know that they’re gone.

NaPoWriMo, Day 2 prompt: a poem that tells a lie. Oh, jeez, and it’s also Open Link Night! Will link there this evening.


19 thoughts on “Liar (for NaPoWriMo, Day 2)

    • Thanks, K! I know nothing about candlepin bowling and very little about llamas. Somehow they combined into a big lie poem while I was on my way to work this morning. I was definitely going for “not right” with those last couple of lines. 🙂

  1. othermary says:

    Hahaha – what a funny image! My neighbor has llamas too, and I can picture those babies clattering over! Your lines leading up to this made it all the more of punch at the end.

    • I hope your neighbor doesn’t bowl with them! I can’t decide if the persona in this poem is actually kind of cruel, or if it’s OK because it’s just a fantasy she has — and because I’m sure she’d do it very gently. The image did amuse me, and I’m glad it amused you, too.

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