Mae Scanlan



Hide the Boodles and Maker’s Mark,
Quick, go chill some wine;
Tonight will be no walk in the park,
With Pastor coming to dine.

Don’t leave the Hitchens book about,
Or the Mailer, or even Larsson;
Go get your mother’s Bible out,
Or something fit for a parson.

Watch your language and stay away
From all politics. Steer clear.
I can’t handle a come-what-may,
And he voted for Trump, I hear.

Tell the kids they must stay upstairs
Except for some brief hellos.
To tell the truth, there are so many snares
I just can’t wait till he goes!

Lines Written After Noticing a
Pest Extermination Truck Parked Across the Street

It’s time we set aside a day to give the bugs their due,
Those pesky little insects that bedevil me and you:
The not-so-humble bumble bee that pollinates our flowers;
The cricket at the hearthside that will chirp chirp chirp for hours.
The nasty thing that makes you scratch your head—a type of louse;
The termite who will eat the underpinnings of your house.
The 17-year locust that will bug you from the trees;
The deer tick in your garden that will give you Lyme disease.
The feared black widow spider that is guaranteed to scare ya;
The oh-so-wee mosquito that will jab you with malaria.
The loathsome roach—it starts as one, but soon you are infested;
The fly that landed in your soup, that somehow you ingested.
The ants and wasps and gnats, no-see-ums, all those irksome creatures
Who multiply beyond one’s ken, with mostly ugly features.
Yes, let the damn things have their day, along with all the rest,
For in the long run, as we know, we serve at their behest.

Mae Scanlan can’t remember a time when she didn’t write humorous verse. Happily, she’s managed to get a fair amount of it published, in both the U.S. and the U.K. Her other addictions are song writing, photography, and The Washington Post’s Style Invitational.