waitress poems

Monday, October 31, 2005


Tonight in the dark I run my finger
down the scar that divides you in half.
You go on sleeping as you did at twelve or thirteen
when the surgeon, who spoke to your parents
but never to you, opened your chest
and admitted your heart to the room full of ordinary things:
the green haze of fluorescent lights, polished floors,
the hungry gossip we use to define our lives.
I wish I cold have been there that day
to watch as your heart with its malfunctioning valve
fixed as methodically as a carburetor.
I wish I could have seen the secret room inside your chest
cracked open and searched for treacheries.
I would have stood above you
and sewn your right side back to your left
with strong black thread, your heart in place
beneath my hand. I would not have faltered.
But for twenty years I waited to touch the long scar
that divides you like a highway.
For twenty years I waited for this night
when I, having taught myself the boldness of surgery,
could open you and fill you with the things I know:
my stories, my lies, the precision of my touch.


  • The cognizance of contradiction in the ending lines makes this a greaceful thing to remember.

    By Blogger Russell Ragsdale, at 8:54 AM  

  • You come up with some of the best plot lines for your characters. This is really very touching (no pun intended).

    By Blogger MB, at 9:42 AM  

  • I got a chill down my spine reading this - your craft is substantial!

    By Blogger David, at 2:00 PM  

  • wow, this is amazing patry. very intense.

    By Blogger Lorena, at 3:40 PM  

  • The scar/road divides one person, and two people. You sew them all together well.

    By Blogger mermaid, at 5:53 PM  

  • I'm lost for words (and usually I can't shut up!)
    When Betjeman wrote "I could not speak for amazement at your beauty" I figure he was lending me the words to describe this poem.
    Thank you.

    By Blogger floots, at 10:48 AM  

  • I love this line it struck me the strangeness of the inside on the outside 'admitted your heart to the room full of ordinary things:'

    By Blogger Sue hardy-Dawson, at 11:48 AM  

  • " I would not falter."

    Concise. Nice.

    Back a ways you commented on something I did. Thanks. My blog goes purty unvisited, cept by friends. Some nice tsuff you have here. ciao


    By Blogger CarlosConrad, at 2:30 PM  

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