Preface: Do you remember those words and phrases you misheard as a child and for years called the thing by the wrong name, in a way that gave it new meaning? There's actually a term for such a phenomenon: mondegreen. Last year, I put out a call for mondegreens from Facebook friends, and then created this poem using as many as I could. Have fun with this! I hope it brings you back to all the mishearing you did as a child.
Their Wedding was in Two Weeks
It was the Fourth of July. We sat on the front porch,
my soon-to-be stepfather drinking cold dark Geniuses
as I colored my picture with crowns. Later that night
the whole city would let off chiropractors and we would join
all the human beans to watch them crack and pop in the sky.
Mom asked, Did I want to be the Ring Bear?
but I refused to be the family pet. She begged,
said she’d take me to the Ornament Park in Miami
where I could ride the swinging pirate ship.
I raised my eyebrows and answered, Your ami?
Suddenly my stepfather exclaimed,
Everyone climb in the fuck! We have Erins to run!
Mom picked up the baby and I stood,
put my crowns away for later. I had sat too long
and my leg was all beans and noodles.
We drove to the fish market to order souls for dinner,
then stopped at Macys for Mom to buy a zucchini
to wear on their honeymoon. I stared out the window
as my stepfather lectured about guacamole, the leading cause
of blindness. I never believed his old wise tales.
When he slammed on the breaks to let a woman walk
the Presbyterian Crossing, my sister started to cry.
She wanted us to pass a fire. Mom found it, put it in her mouth
but she whimpered the rest of the way home.
My mother hadn’t noticed that the fire was out.
first published in Noctua Review. Volume 9. New Haven: Phoenix Press. Fall 2016. Print.