LETTER: A fly’s response to poetic comeback

To the editor:

Fly-on-the-wall was grumbling and nursing a sugar water and rum when I spied him. “I thought this was your day to watch Robert Lee’s shop, Fly. What gives?”

“I’m through doing favors for Robbie … some pal he is!” growled Fly.

“‘Robbie’? Now Fly, what have you been told about poking fun at names, especially in a public forum?”

“I know,” Fly noted with a sheepish nod. “When we do that, we’re admitting we’ve lost our way, and have nothing useful to say.”

“That was sorta’ poetic, Fly. Or was it accidental?”

“Whatever it was,” Fly snapped, “it was better than Robb-, er, Robert, tried in the op-ed on Oct. 31 … Onomatopoeia it ain’t!”

“Well, it was a fun little stab at iambic pentameter …”

“You’re a real laugh-riot,” snarked Fly. ”What about those cracks about spiders and the fly’s ‘demise?’”

“That was rather ominous, Fly. But it was Halloween … maybe he was in the mood. Does he write much poetry during slow days at the shop?”

With an impish grin, Fly measured a bit more rum into his sugar water. “An old Marine told my Parris Island uncle a Robert Lee legend some years ago.”

Fly sipped and continued. “Seems that a drill instructor made him dig a ‘6×6’ — a really deep hole — to bury a dead sand flea. But poor Robert kept digging the ‘grave’ in the wrong spot … at least according to the DI. Then he had to recite a poem over the unfortunate flea. He’s had an aversion to poetry ever since!”

“Aw, that can’t be true, Fly … you’ve had too much ‘sauce’. Remember, a little more sugar water and … “

“I know,” Fly slurred, “… and a little ‘lesh’ rum.”

“Good, Fly. Now you go make up with Mr. Lee.”

Douglas Smith


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