HAPPY UK POETRY DAY: The Loneliness of the Yonghy-Bonghy-Bò

The Loneliness of the Yonghy-Bonghy-Bò

I am Irene Westcott. I am Lady Jingly.
I am Mrs. Osborn and Mrs. Melville.

I am the middle-aged woman who
doesn’t feel like herself anymore.

I want to crawl into that big ugly
gumwood cabinet radio and stay there

forever. I want to listen to the loneliness
of the Yonghy-Bonghy-Bò, the lament

of the “Missouri Waltz,” the woozy
happiness of the “Whiffenpoof Song.”

I want to know about salmon fishing in
Canada and the Sea Island holiday. I will

give up my luncheon dates, my martinis,
my furs and slipcovers, even my three

beautiful children for the vanity, heart-
burn, carnal love, despair and

faith of the people living inside
the outsized radio. That is where

I belong, in there, not out here
where someone might hear me.

By Jenny McPhee
(after Cheever)

3 Replies to “HAPPY UK POETRY DAY: The Loneliness of the Yonghy-Bonghy-Bò”

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