Thursday, May 22, 2014

New Poem -- Cuss Jar -- for my three children

Cuss Jar
—For my children

I sit at my work desk, gape at the computer
screen, drag text boxes and photos from
one page of a printed program to the next.
Cream floats on my coffee like paint.

My cell phone vibrates. Girl #2 yells
that Girl #1 called her a bitch in
front of the Boy. I see his wide brown eyes
turn to dollar signs—the cuss jar on the counter—
most coins dropped in by yours truly.

I line up a photo of an exec with veneers 
inside the grid lines on a page. Barely
listen to the next call and the complaints
about how Girl #1 should move out,
blah blah, she’s a slob, blah blah. I nod
into the phone, sip my hours-old coffee.

Third call. Girl #2 says Girl #1
went psycho, threw a bottle of nail polish,
which I see ricochet off the wall, land
on the floor with little ado. Finally
quitting time, I glaze over until home.

When I walk in, the stench of acetone
wakes me up. Girl #1 kneels in the
hall, the walls colored like a speckled egg.
She smears nail polish remover on spots.

The ceiling’s marred with three maroon Vs,
cushion of the loveseat stained with lines,
couch topped with giant polka dots. I stand there,
lips tight, fighting back tears. The Boy walks over,

throws his arm around me, and says,
“Those girls owe me like ten bucks.”

No comments:

Post a Comment