Maude and Frank

BY H. HARVEY MARTIN

(Circa 1975 -Somewhere between Pittsburgh and Topeka)

Maude was quite independent and gentrified,
Until her sons moved away and her husband died.
Maude suddenly realized that she could not even pump her own gas,

Necessity required her to put appearances aside,
Soon she was fueling her own mower and cutting her own grass. 


Frank, in his day, was a real man’s man
But when Maude took ill, he took the Hoover in hand
And donned Maude’s frilly apron, and became the boss
Of the kitchen appliances -of the pot and the pan.
He tied on that apron faithfully -before he attempted to fry the sauce.


While Maude was ill, the neighbor men with a squint of glee

Observed in manly tones -quite down to earth,
That their man Frank took to the apron a bit too eagerly.

Meanwhile the women neighbors, with equal mirth 
Were commenting that Maude now knew what a good man was truly worth.


Each frilly-aproned woman or rugged macho man

Adjusts their behavior to the task at hand
They rise to the occasion, as we all must do.
Pray you have good neighbors who will not mock you

If you have a pretty apron -and a good gas can.


(For Mr. Maravilla a retired steelworker (bless his soul) who was accused of “moving around the house like a woman” while he was taking care of his bedridden wife of forty plus years; a wife who had raised six sons and two daughters while keeping a spotless house and a backyard garden that was fit to host four stylish weddings.)