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