In my blood, I’d go to the men’s room,
the bathroom at Sears, she said.
If pigs had wings, she’d be a streetcar,
she said, and I would have been a bus.
I smile at the Midwestern women. If my aunt
had balls like them, or the pioneer women
crossing the plains, she’d be a bicycle. I would
have been a bus, and we would bottle Paris.
This counterfactual thinking. It is fruitless
to speculate about counterfactual situations.
She’d be my uncle, my aunt; she’d wash
her feet in the sink if we could bottle Paris
and make a ham and cheese sandwich
as respectable Sears matrons flutter
their hands, their support knee-highs,
her feet in the sink. But it is fruitless,
this counterfactual speculation. Fruitless,
my uncle, my aunt, even my grandmother,
though I suspect she has bottled Paris,
wagoned it all the way home.
NaPoWriMo, Day 27 prompt: Take a common expression, do a Google search for its first three words, then skim the first few pages that result, looking for interesting lines and images. I used “If my grandmother had wheels, she’d be a wagon,” which apparently, many people know from a Star Trek movie. The second result was, of all things, a poem by Mohja Kahf, some lines of which I’ve borrowed or adapted here.
6 thoughts on “If My Grandmother Had Wheels (for NaPoWriMo, Day 27)”
Unusual yet captivating
Reblogged this on Nature’s Abhorred Vacuum.
Thanks for the reblog!
Thanks for linking to my Idiomation blog where I discuss the history of the idiom “If My Grandmother Had Wheels.”
Loved reading the poem as well.
How nice to hear from you. Thanks so much! I’ll visit your site again because your explanation was so detailed and interesting. Glad you were at the top of the Google pile!