memorial for a brilliant woman

Wednesday, April 03, 2013

NAPOMO 2013 poem-a-day April 3


It wasn’t hunger that made her
punch through the skin,
scooping soft vanilla wafers
into her waiting mouth,
drove her to lick fingers
and go back again and again
until the Pyrex dish gaped
half empty on the shelf.
They had told her "help yourself"
to whatever she wanted
but they couldn’t have meant
the untouched dessert
covered in Saran wrap
well after the pudding set,
the big chunks of bananas,
twice the cookies called for.
The baby wouldn’t stir-
her role was watchman, only
there because someone must be.
She rocked in mewling shame
on the Danish modern couch,
house perfectly decorated
in Bayshore Estates, nicer than
where she usually babysat.
What remained beckoned her,
whipped cream splotched
in lazy design, the soft wafers,
shut-eyed pleasure filling
empty spaces, she ate and ate
licking her palm clean,
as the sudden flash of headlights
made her heart clutch.
Not them. A neighbor.
She filled the sink with water,
scrubbed glass too clean.
"It slipped. I’m so very sorry.
I cleaned the mess." She wouldn’t
work there again. The husband
drove her home, where nothing
would be as good, or all hers.

1 comment:

Joan Mazza said...

This one is very good. Feels real. Captures the trancelike state.