St. Sharon of Tallahassee
(she’s not very well known yet)
was assigned to be my guardian angel,
and for forty-two years,
she protected me from plane crashes,
car crashes, a large feral cat,
and several deadly strains of flu.
Then one day, she sat me down
with a cup of Lipton decaf tea
and a slightly smashed,
but still wrapped, Twinkie
and informed me
that she would be taking a few months off.
“I just can’t stand these Chicago winters!”
she explained before I could object.
“I need a little time in the sun.”
“But…but…” I sputtered,
“Winter is when I need you most!
Polar vortices and slippery roads!
Remember last year
when the office parking lot
was a sheet of ice?
You got me through it, Sharon.
I got home in one piece.”
St. Sharon gazed at herself
in her Avon compact mirror,
admiring her bright blue eyeshadow,
reapplying her cotton candy pink lipstick.
“Did you know?” she said,
“In some countries, you’d be well beyond
the average life expectancy?”
“But not here!” I cried.
“This isn’t the time to be
a marginal employee, Sharon.
Besides, don’t you have a boss
to answer to?
You know, the BIG BOSS?”
“Oh, She has bigger fish to fry,”
St. Sharon shrugged.
“Besides, everyone deserves a vacation
once in a while.”
“Where would you go?” I asked.
“Is it somewhere I could follow?”
St. Sharon had not anticipated resistance.
“It’s a resort,” she explained,
“but not really for your type.
All-inclusive, of course.
They have dancing and bingo
and karaoke and arts and crafts
and movies at night.
Don’t worry, hon,” she assured me,
patting me on my shoulder.
“Just buy some good winter boots
and be careful of what you eat
and maybe call your insurance agent.
Before you know it, I’ll be right back!”
I was pretty sure I wouldn’t survive
January without her.
So we compromised,
and I took her on a Caribbean cruise.
I think she had a pretty good time
and also saved me from
bad sushi, a fall off the deck,
an ill-fated spin class, and
a shark attack.