Goodnight Milhouse


(Luanne Van Houten, née Mussolini)


Once there was a special little guy who put on his big boy pajamas and promised not to wet the bed.   His Mommy called him Sweet Little Treasure but he said I want to live with Weekend Dad so he was sent to bed without eating any non-dairy, peanut-free snacks.

The boy started to cry but he was allergic to his own tears and pretty much everything else.  If you leave to live with that rotten, change purse-carrying loser, said his Mommy, I will have Pyro punch your dad and bring you back, for you are my Sweet Little Treasure.

I will become a boat and sail to my father, said the boy.

If you become a boat, I will send my ex-boyfriend, The Sea Captain, to bring you back to me, for you are my Sweet Little Treasure, said his Mommy.

Weekend Dad and I will leave Springfield in the middle of the night, said the boy.

If you and your weakened father steal away from Springfield, I will have him charged with kidnapping, and Chief Wiggum will have Lou book him, said his Mommy, for you are my Sweet Little Treasure.  Besides, what would you eat?  Your father can’t even keep a job as a bean crop scarecrow or as an assistant to the guy who puts fliers under windshield wipers.

That very dark night the boy fell asleep while listening to Jimi Hendrix sing “Wild Thing” and in his dream, he sailed to a forest full of everything groovy.  All the school bullies lived in the forest, and when the boy saw them, his heart sang the saddest song of all.  The bullies swore their terrible swears, gnashed their cavity-filled teeth, and showed the dirt beneath their fingernails.  We’ll beat you up, said Nelson.  Then the wild rumpus started, and the bullies gave the boy wedgie after wedgie until he went back to his Mommy’s loving arms.  She kissed him and hugged him and said I’ll never let you grow; I’ll never let you go.




Photo By: Jiri Brozovsky


About Author

Tom C. Hunley holds degrees from University of Washington, Eastern Washington University, and Florida State University. He is the author of three full-length poetry collections, most recently Octopus (Logan House Press, 2008, Winner of the Holland Prize); five chapbooks, most recently Annoyed Grunt (Imaginary Friend Press, 2012); and two textbooks, most recently The Poetry Gymnasium: 94 Proven Exercises to Shape Your Best Verse (McFarland & Co., Inc., 2012). He has also written for a variety of literary publications such as TriQuarterly, New York Quarterly, Five Points, The Writer, North American Review, New Orleans Review, Rattle, Exquisite Corpse, Verse Daily, The Writer’s Chronicle, Atlanta Review and Poetry Daily. His poems have been featured several times on Garrison Keillor’s NPR program, The Writer’s Almanac. In addition to writing his own poetry and prose, he is the book review editor for Poemeleon and the director/founder of Steel Toe Books. He and his wife, Ralaina, have been married since 1996, and they have three sons. In his spare time he enjoys playing bass guitar.

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: