In search of story

March 26.23: Coping, but barely


If you want to have your way,

you have to learn to plead,

set forth your clearest logic,

your very urgent need.

What will make your case?

The dewy eye of doe?

Jumping up and down?

A flapping to and fro?

It’s incumbent on the pleader

to practice saying “please,”

to master skill of asking,

to manipulate with ease.

Whining has its place,

the dab at moistened eye,

the drooping of the shoulders,

the Perils-of-Pauline sigh,

but something’s to be said

for the frown of dispensed guilt,

the heavy-lidded snark,

you-can’t-be-serious tilt.

Wordless language speaks —

give it megaphone;

learn to turn your back,

or shrug or stomp or groan.

I’d add one more idea

for pleader’s technique docket:

to emphasize your point,

a cookie in your pocket.


Many thanks to Susan Rushton for the lively photo!

I don’t know who the artist was, but thanks to him/her also for such eloquent gestures; however, the gestures go only so far to persuade — it’s the cookie that wins the day. I’m almost sure that all of these silent orators have cookies in pockets somewhere.


10 thoughts on “March 26.23: Coping, but barely

  1. Is it a compliment to say this is too cute? I don’t know but I’m saying it as one. 😊

  2. Love this! These marvelous manipulators would steal anybody’s heart, with or without a cookie! Whoever the artist is, he or she is a genius.

    Your poem is so perfectly married up with the picture. Well done Maureen, well done.

    Happy Sunday. BTW, how many cookies do you keep in your pockets? 🤗

    • Thank you, Ginger! I loved this photo; Susan has such a good eye! As for how many cookies in my pocket, it depends on the need. There’s nothing like a lint cookie to plead one’s case!

  3. Cookies win every time, and I might add a little snark. 🙂

  4. This is wonderful! Begging, cookies and snark seem to work on me. Also, being cute seems to work.

  5. Another example of how wonderfully and unexpectedly the muse interprets an image. This was one of a series of artworks on the wall of an exhibit, The Voice of Urban Nature, at Floriade. The Netherlands, in 2022. The theme was about designing cities with thought for all inhabitants, including wildflowers and other wildlife. Any cookies in their pockets were well hidden rather than offered as an inducement.

    • I remember that! But I didn’t remember that this was a part of it. This has a marvelous eloquence to it, don’t you think? Cookies in pockets are always well hidden and I’d agree that they are not always offered as inducement because they get nibbled, and there goes the persuasion.

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