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I will praise you, Constance Bennett
By Barbara Hamby

I will praise you, Constance Bennett, for all the great lines
you had in Topper, beginning with, “You know something,
George?  I think we’re dead.”  Haven’t we all felt that from time
to time—dead, I mean—bloodless and out of it, humming
a few bars of “Pink Cadillac” to cheer ourselves up,
though usually it takes something more to shake Virgil
and climb out of hell.  I, for one, prefer a hard slap
on the kisser, but Bogart’s dead and George Raft, too.  Still,
Bela Lugosi might do.  Nah, being a vampire
has nothing to do with being dead.  I’ve done some
unpleasant things in my time: eating brains, changing a tire,
the usual sex stuff with men I didn’t like.  “Come
hell or high water,” my mother used to say when I
had to scrub the world’s toilets.  Mom, you didn’t lie.

Poem available in Salmagundi No. 153-154.
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