Shiver me limber timbers, chappie, have you heard the news? After years of creative repression, your deedle-deedle poet is back in the game! You might not have expected it from someone like me—you might say, who is Aunty Linda to write creative verse? And, how could a 50-something godmother of three reinvent herself now, after so many bland old years as a muckety-muck teller at the local credit union?

Well, I’m here to wake you up, pup! I have Vera Bradley sneakers now, and a purple pen, and I order Café Olés in neighboring towns (if only to get away from all the darn-doodlin’ neighbors clouding my rediscovered creative energy!) It’s a whifflepuffle of a joyride, a needling of the sanctus spirit—a godsend, I tell you. And I’ve spent decades cultivating the grapes for this bacchanal of wild expression. It’s an artistic ritual release! Or sumpin like that. Grub grub!

The Rules Do Not Apply! No, Meek Aunty Linda doesn’t kowtow to her co-workers’ bullhonky anymore. She has no problem with aging, made-up words, or even dry red wine! She’s no longer a lackey to Kurt’s constant demands. The walking apology of a woman you once knew has escaped from her kitty collar—and any hook-hookering snookums “providing feedback” on her newfound freedom are NOT WELCOME!

Becoming a creative has been a holistic process. Through arduous trial-and-error, I’ve developed a personal artist’s style that recalls SARK and Cher. The bright colors and feathers that adorn my physical body activate the inherent whimsy of my essential self, and release me into the joyful free association that is my trademark. Drawing upon youthful upstarts such as Roald Dahl, Rupi Kaur, and Theodor Seuss Geisel, I do what’s called a “free write” directly into Google Documents, changing fonts and mental pathways as freely as Kurt used to change the channel, even when I was watching my shows.

But it’s not all hard work! Even after my morning pages, I find zany ways to indulge in succulent womanhood. Why, the other day, I gave myself permission to speak in verse to the cashier at the super where I bought (you won’t believe it) Fudge Ripple in a pint, instead of the standard bucket of Cookies ‘n’ Cream that Kurt liked to eat in bed. God, what a rush. You should’ve seen the look on that poor kid’s face! “Yes, to the receipt/Well now I’m off to eat/hope your evening’s hard to beat!” Oh, my face burned as I bustled away, and then bustled back to grab the minuscule pint of Fudge Ripple, and then bustled away again—but when I got to my car, I clutched the wheel, white-knuckled, laughing with exhilaration. I felt so free. Being an artist is such a gobb-gobblin’ thrill!

Things have changed—no more fancy dinners with the gremlins of the Chamber of Commerce. No more bi-annual gala for the business leaders of the tri-county area at our state’s capitol. I’ve bid farewell to all my god-doodly taupe blazers, and to brunches with the ladies every other Sunday. They take me as a threat, ever since I sang “Live and Let Die” at an open mic downtown and started taking pottery classes. But never mind them. I’m not missing anything. Now I dance an exuberant circle around the dog on Sundays, a glass of Riesling in one hand and a deviled egg in the other, listening to Jewel. I take myself on romantic dates to the Fish House. Last week, I ordered frog legs! I even downloaded an “application” to meet strangers drawn to my lifeforce as it flows through a photo from my sister’s wedding in 2002, right after Kurt’s first affair.

Somehow I find the time to remain the same old me. But I’m a me that’s growing—a new and improved “meep-meep” who won’t let other peoples’ expectations govern her spirit. I’m not stooping over to please just anyone (or anything) – not least the sparse pages of a crusty old Merriam-Webster’s! If soop-a-doop puddly is how I feel some mornings, I’ll say it that way. If zumba rumba boomba-chop! is what I want to shout to the treetops, alone in my backyard after another sleepless night, mug of coffee in hand—well, screw what the neighbors might say.

Because maybe—just maybe, old chap—it’s easier to cry out a toothless “root-toot-tootin’!” and flee when Georgia asks me “how I’ve been” at the super. Perhaps “skittle skittle, ya crumpety tittle” will make more sense to Karyn than anything else I’m liable to choke out. Maybe there are times in which no real words will do. Times when anything is easier than admitting the truth: Kurt left me. Can you believe it? He left me after all these years.

And “Zip zip, what a trip!” comes out better than the rest: Kurt’s gone. And I’m so scared to be alone.

Oh, Kurt. You scurvy meanball molasses. And Linda. Tenderhearted Linda meep. Yeesa feather hobnobbin’ in the deeps, now.

Whew! Scoot scoot a doot, me-throat is a constant strangled little boot. I need to hugga-hugga yeesa heartself after so many grootiful seasons of being loonyonly to my very soul. You hear?

Don’t complain that you don’t understand what I’m saying. You know what gobb-gobblin’ means to me.

Or have you never had a broken heart?