Tears of a Hanky

valentine 1 Tears of a Hanky

The following is my own verse loosely based on The Collar, a short story by Hans Christian Andersen. In tone and style, it follows the tradition of the limerick; however, in featuring a series of stanzas that tell a story, it is more like a ballad. In Andersen’s original, a turn-of-the-century, detachable-type collar finds himself yearning for female companionship and sets off to find it within the confines of the dressing room, only to face rejection at every turn.


A complete collection of my verses based on various literary classics is available for download at Lulu.com

Watch the video version too @ TEARS OF A HANKY


by A.E. Faris


There once was a hanky of old

of whom heartache had taken a hold;

coming out of a drawer,

his grief to outpour,

this is the story he told:


“An accessory feels like a fraction

unless able to get a reaction;

if not part of a pair,

its burdens to share,

it can never achieve satisfaction.


Although cut of some dandyish tissue,

my age was becoming an issue…

How sad to leave life,

never knowing a wife,

without having somebody to miss you!


So in order to make my own bid,

in a basket of laundry I hid,

to wait for a date,

a desirable mate,

that is what this old handkerchief did.


At last, I perceived a slight swish,

an answer, perhaps, to my wish…

having cast out my line,

I awaited a sign,

some proof I had hooked me a fish


An elegant scarf had dropped in!

the kind that you dress with a pin:

an ephemeral dream,

of peaches and cream…

I vowed that her heart I must win.


So, “Madam!” cried I, with a wink

intended to make her turn pink,

“My hear is aglow,

and your name I must know…

for together, we must form a link!”


To my gesture, she made no reply,

only turned up her gaze to the sky,

’til a great hand loomed in,

scooped her out of the bin,

all in less than the blink of an eye.


Then I, too, was whisked out by the hand,

rugged and wrinkled and tanned,

to be dropped on a board,

my flailings ignored…

prey to whatever was planned.


An iron was what I saw now,

bearing down like the ominous prow

of a great steel boat,

with steam at its throat;

I knew I must have her, but how?


“Dear lady,” I called, like a rake,

“my senses you briskly awake…

so majestic you are,

that I would go far

to see what a spouse you would make!”


The iron was clearly in shock:

“Just what is this nonsense you talk?”

she cried with a snort,

“I’ve heard of your sort…

I’d rather be wed to a sock!”


Her rebuff was such a surprise

that questions could not but arise:

Had I waited too long?

Had my time come and gone?

Was I choosing a course that was wise?


But, just as I was seized with the fear

that no suitable pick would appear,

some scissors closed in,

efficient and thin…

restoring my natural cheer.


“So lovely and lithe are those limbs!”

(as she plied me with various trims)

“You must be a dancer,

the obvious answer,

to my keen matrimonial whims!”


But it seemed that the scissors were famed,

with a temper that couldn’t be tamed,

unspeakably brash,

she cut a great gash,

and left this poor handkerchief maimed.


After that, my whole future was sealed;

no more charm had this gallant to wield…

an undeserved fate,

and a lesson learned late,

in the perils of playing the field.


Instead, and against my own will,

I found myself sent to a mill,

to be used as a rag,

by some sour-faced hag…

and yes, I am living there still.”

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  • wp socializer sprite mask 32px Tears of a Hanky
  • wp socializer sprite mask 32px Tears of a Hanky
  • wp socializer sprite mask 32px Tears of a Hanky
  • wp socializer sprite mask 32px Tears of a Hanky
  • wp socializer sprite mask 32px Tears of a Hanky
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