The Second Time

I thought this would be a fitting post for today, as it’s 80 degrees right now, but the first freeze of the year is lurking  right aaround the corner. I’m not a winter person, and I’m soooo glad I am able to live in a place where it only lastsa few months, and even those few months are relatively mild. I wrote this in story form a few years back, and a couple of days ago, decided to see how it worked as a poem. Turns out it’s  not only a good fit seasonally, but a perfect fit for dVerse Poet Pub’s Poetics feature this afternoon. I hope you enjoy this bit of wintertime fun.

The Second Time


The frozen December landscape

Welcomed us to Santa Fe

As did a startlingly blue sky

And… the cute waitress at the club


We played a couple good sets

Entertained the few who showed up

Then packed our gear

For the ride back to Albuquerque


The waitress wiped a table in front

And asked if we had a room

No, gonna make the drive

She said, not tonight you’re not


While we’d played and sang

Black bottom clouds had slipped in

Silent snow had fallen for three hours

Wonderful scenery, treacherous driving


Make the best of it


Any good tubing hills nearby

I asked, grinning at the lovely lass

I should have seen the devil

In the gleam of her deep brown eyes


Next morning we met at the place

Tubes in hand we watched her

Grinning as she crossed the road

I met her gleeful glare with manly bravado


It’s just ‘round the bend said she

We followed happily along behind her

Elbows gouging ribs, sharing wide grins

Watching the sway of her shapeliness


Stopping suddenly, she pointed up

I’m sure it wasn’t me who gasped

A gently sloping snow-covered hill it was not

A cliff… a ledge… Kill-A-Man-Jar… Oh


The drummer whispered no

The bass man said, we’re gonna die

I put on a grin I had no belief in

And began the climb


At the top, out of breath

I turned and looked down

She waved and smiled

… I cursed her quietly


I thought to give up my pride

Walk back down

Might even have done so…

If I hadn’t slipped on the ice


A little girl screamed

As I landed on the tube

I would realize later

The sound had come from me


The tube and I were acquainted

Only briefly I’m sorry to tell

Most of the trip was made

On my backside… and face


In a heap at the bottom

I wondered how I’d survived

She looked down at me

Eyes twinkling, teeth sparkling


Still, I was blind

How was it, she asked sweetly

I rose quickly and dusted off snow

Awesome!… was my foolish reply


The second time was worse


Copyright © 2012 C Mashburn


  1. the second time was worse…you had me laughing hard man…the smile you had no belief in…the squeeling girl that was you…haha…some other cool elements too…the black bottom clouds, her shapeliness….too funny man..

    • I’m glad you enjoyed it, Brian. It’s one of my favorite stories and, of course, it changes a bit every time I tell it.

  2. Ha ha ha… what one will do for a smile from a lady!

  3. Mary said

    Good story, Charles. Ha, I can see you ‘tubing’ on your backside. Ouch, ouch. The picture makes me smile, but I am sure the experience left you with a few bruises.

  4. This was a blast. So many cool one-liners in here, and a mesmerizing story-telling skills clearly on display. A lot of fun, and the final line is perfect.

  5. haha…so good charles..her sweetly asking …her shapeliness..and the second time was worse..lots of cool details that make the story so vivid…smiles

  6. clawfish said

    That flowed well with a certain smiling harmony loved it

  7. Grace said

    Oh my goodness, I so enjoyed the tale…ouch….for the backside and face….and for another time….whew…great story here Charles ~

  8. LOL
    A little girl screamed… you later realised, it was you…. too funny. Sounds like a killer of a hill though.

  9. Susan said

    Oh, Man, this is so funny and true that I had to laugh. I would have–have–done the same, and I have no macho or flirtation to blame it on. This is a great story whether or not it happened. I loved the little girl scream! and that there was a second time.

    • I guess I’ll fess up; it did happen, but not to me. It’s more fun to tell in the first person though, and I did embellish a bit.

  10. Nara said

    Laughing…wonderful story. My favorite part:

    A little girl screamed

    As I landed on the tube

    I would realize later

    The sound had come from me

  11. Laurie Kolp said

    Enjoyed this, Charles. That would be me, too.

  12. Still laughing. The second time, eh?

  13. Mama Zen said

    This is hilarious!

  14. janehewey said

    wonderful story… and your ending is perfect.

  15. Very funny, Charles. The close is especially charming. I’m still laughing and I had to go through all the many comments! k.

  16. Deborah said

    Still laughing!

  17. Kelvin S.M. said

    ..humorous in a clever way… i think that’s how exactly to define it… cool.. cool write… smiles…

  18. Very fun tube ride — nicely done. The read kept me going !

  19. David King said

    Had to Google tubing hills. Now I have it and appreciate the poem. great narrative.

    • Ha! I forget there are folks in other places and/or cultures who have no idea what I’m talking about sometimes. Thanks, David!

  20. Tony said

    Brought a smile to my face fairly early on – and then turned that into laughter by the end. Great story, well told, with so many delicious details along the way. The second time (of reading) was better 🙂

  21. ROFL! 😀 Wonderful ~ pace and pathos, brilliant 😀

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