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The Burrowing Song

October 2, 2009

by Karen Greenbaum-Maya

A song burrowed into a woman’s head. It got in when someone said, “Oh, that’s just dandy.” C&H, C&H, Mommy uses it to bake her cakes. She makes the greatest cookies cakes and candy — they’re dan-dan-dandy! When the woman was in her bed, she could hear it upstairs.

C&H, C&H, Mommy uses it to bake her cakes. The woman called a pest control service, the one with the man dressed like an undertaker and carrying a big heavy mallet. She asked them to kill the song. It needs to be fed, they said, don’t you have some cookies, cakes or candy? “Oh, that’s just dandy,” the woman told them, and then she wept. Her blood pressure went up, so her GP prescribed meds. The song still played, only now in a chromatic scale, like Bach gone inbred.

Finally, the woman packed up her red Keds and left the house. The song had become part of the plumbing and stayed behind. Cool, she thought, at last I’ve got the damned thing balked. Who is the coolest guy who is what am? Fast-talking slow-walking good-looking Mohair Sam.

Now she has a safe tune and always carries it with her. If she sings it silently, the safe tune can drive away a burrowing song.

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Karen Greenbaum-Maya is a clinical psychologist in private practice in Claremont, California. In another life, she majored in German Lit, where she read poetry for college credit. She was nominated for a 2010 Pushcart. Her safe song has been on the job for more than fifteen years.

  1. Judith Terzi
    October 2, 2009 at 8:53 pm

    Hey Karen,

    This is such a cool piece. Enjoyed reading it along with you.


  2. October 3, 2009 at 1:21 pm

    “like Bach gone inbred” – whoo, now there’s a phrase to raise the hairs on one’s neck.

    October 6, 2009 at 11:12 am

    Quintessential Dr. Greenbaum-Maya. I loved reading and listening, good for you Karen!

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