waitress poems

Tuesday, June 07, 2005


That was what we called you behind your back
when you huddled in the corner with a smoke
muttering about treacheries on the job,
ancient perfidies we would never understand.
At the end of a shift, we rushed home to families, lovers,
or the benevolence of a chosen solitude
while you walked six miles to the vacant lot
where a pack of feral strays waited for the scraps
you tossed into twilight. You hoarded your story
like the last match in a black tunnel. All we knew
was that you had left husband and children
20 years earlier--for fated love it was presumed--
though no one knew you well enough to ask.
In the end, it didn’t matter: you were alone in a rented room,
cancer insolently devouring your flame.
Still you remained proud--allowing no visitors
into your barren quarters, spurning our offers of help,
those bland ambiguous kindnesses.The last time I saw you,
you sat on the stairs in a dreary hallway
the planes of your face sharpened by thinning light,
as you guarded the door to your room,
your story, your vagrant heart to the end.

first appeared in Tar River Poetry


  • That's very sad & heavy but i like it alot.

    By Blogger rdl, at 7:15 PM  

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