Strident

A Portrait of Dissatisfaction 

In a dudgeon, eyes twitching,
she stomps through
a lively shopping strip
on a hazy Sunday morning,
displeasure bubbling
through her scrawny hands.

Aromas of coffee
waft  from a side walk cafe,
a hum of phatic words connect
into smiling conversations.

She tugs a lock of hair
escaping her tight chignon.

She spies familiar faces,
a cosy trio chatting,
eggs and bacon sizzle
in the background,
at the crossing
a car honks in frustration.

Three pairs of eyes lock
in resignation as they spot
the woman.

She sits and greets her friends,
a rictus smile with wringing hands,
delighted
with her serendipitous
encounter.

Her words hammer,
six eardrum anvils,
three faces wilt;
the conversation shrivels
as she poaches
each topic for her own,
grist for her strident soliloquy.

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18 thoughts on “Strident

  1. You have rich, live and wonderful imagery deployed in this poem. It at once creates a collage of urbane motifs and there emerges a familiar yet intriguing picture. Wonderful read indeed.

  2. Strong & powerful … I didn’t read this poem I saw the events unfolding &, for me, that is a sure sign that a poem has worked. I even grimaced when ‘she’ came to sit with ‘us’ ~ lol. You have this piece pitch perfect Marousia & your use of some rather uncommon words gives your poem some of its strength … because those words fit snuggly between the words around them (dudgeon, phatic, rictus, chignon). And, of course, I’m guessing that we all of us know of some similarly ‘strident’ person, which makes your poem so easy to connect with. I read ‘Strident’ through three times before I commented … purely because it pleased me to do so. It feels such a real poem & I love it! 🙂

    • Glad it hit the spot – yes, we had a ‘strident’ encounter very recently – not comfortable and certainly not ‘nice’ to laugh but I had to get it out of my system 🙂

  3. Wow, this is a great poem!

    I can feel it as I read, feel that sinking feeling they felt as they spied her, but also feel the cringing embarrassment she would feel if only she knew how her behaviour was affecting the others. I think we all have maybe been here at some time or other…

    Love the way it drew me along when reading it. Thanks 🙂

  4. lol lol aaah how many have experienced such a situation or even been the microphone that made others squirm in their comfortable bottoms lol oh gad love this .. too funnie . always beez :)) oh yes agree with the use of un common words that peter expressed above .. they fit like a glove to what was being express happening Your so clever how you arrange your words to relate express a tone a feeling .. .. really love this .. beez :))

  5. Such people are really very lonely and, may be desperately in need of someone to ‘connect’ with. Sad for her to have been so loud, she killed the conversation. She’s probably a bit deaf and deaf people (without hearing aids) do tend to shout because they can’t hear their own voices.
    I could see all of this in my mind’s eye.
    Lovely writing.

  6. You’ve been writing a lot of good poems lately. I had to look up “phatic.” At first glance I thought it said “phallic” which would make a very different poem.

  7. So true what Daydreamer said about these maddening people. They are often lonely and insecure, which is sad. Most often though, we feel annoyed rather than sorry for them. You captured so well the feelings of the trio upon whom she inflicts herself. Rictus smile; perfect. Your choice of words puts her stridence across so that I can feel it. Tight chignon; of course! How else would this woman wear her hair?

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