waitress poems

Friday, August 26, 2005


For days you sit in the house
with the shades down. Diapers
rot in pails; the litter
you have married flourishes
in every room, trailing you,
reminding you.
At night your husband,
the former high school track star
pulls you toward him again.
His body, a cage that will
release neither of you
rises above you,
each bar in place.
You whisper to the runner
imprisoned there,
to the woman who once loved him.
But your voice has become soundless;
his breathing fills the room.

Only on Tuesday nights do
you remember how to shout.
Your blood infused with
Coca Cola,
your body like a bow,
you release the ball, and the force
of all your quiet days
explodes in the lane.
One after the other,
the docile pins fall.
A strike! A spare.
Again and again, you need
to see them tumble,
collapsing like the high walls
of the house you have built
around your life,
around your shouts of victory.

first published in The Painted Bride Quarterly


  • Yeah, we all release tension in one way or another. I never thought about it, but bowling would be good for that. Thanks for sharing this. I enjoyed it.

    By Blogger Vickie, at 7:48 PM  

  • There is such a sad undercurrent to this a squallid feeling of hoplessness and dull routine. I like the speed change between verses.

    By Blogger Sue hardy-Dawson, at 10:20 AM  

  • Thanks Sue and Vickie. I hope the second verse is an antidote to the squalor and routine of the first.

    By Blogger Patry Francis, at 5:22 PM  

  • you see the life of this lonely wife and you know that her screams are the only thing that free her of this existence.

    you really understand people.

    By Blogger Lorena, at 9:35 PM  

  • I love to find a poem that speaks to me in such a way that I'm left speachless...

    this is one.

    By Blogger Erin, at 6:41 PM  

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