In Black and White

My mother reclined on the sand, long legs extended

Shying away from the camera

Water droplets drying on her black one-piece bathing suit

Her cigarette held just so

While we kids splashed about in ice cold water

She was beautiful, but never knew it

No one ever told her; I believe they thought she understood

But she never did.

Peace, people

At the K & N

Maybe seventeen, the carhop, her pregnant belly preceding her, waddled up to the driver’s side door.

She carried two root beer floats and an order of fries on a tray that she hooked onto a window rolled halfway down. She brushed away droplets of sweat dotting her forehead.

I was pregnant, too. Barely older than the carhop. The float was a craving. The fries an after thought.

We made eye contact, the waitress and I. My place in the passenger seat somehow granting me special dispensation.

I felt superior, there with my husband. I made judgements over greasy fries and root beer soaked ice cream.

Every now and again I wonder how her story played out. A right turn here. A detour there. She’d be my age, or thereabouts.

I hope her life’s been good.

The Cowboy

I danced one night with a cowboy

He asked; I said yes, even though my friends were whining to go

I remember the smell of him, like new leather and spice,

The feel of his crisp white shirt and my hand in his,

And the way he held me close, like I was fragile and precious.

He asked if he could take me home, but I was spoken for already, so I thanked him for the dance

And went on my way.

Mars

I hear Mars is beautiful tonight in some parts of the world

The trees here where I live obstruct my view of the late summer sky, so I can only imagine.

It’s the only thing I miss from our days living on the plains, where I could look up and say,

“See, there’s Venus or Mars or Jupiter.” Once for a week the three lined up and I

Sat outside with the smell from a neighbor’s wood-burning fireplace my best companion,

That and the off again, on again lightning bugs, playing peekaboo in the bushes.

The webbed lawn chair’s plastic, scratchy against my pajama-clad legs,

A glass of Merlot, sipped slowly, once empty, the sign I should give up the watch

Leaving the celestial trio to their own devices for another night.

Points of View

He thought her lovely

Yet too stubborn to be tamed

His heart seemed shuttered

She feared he’d control

But desired him at all costs

Her heart was open

One passionate night

Lovers standing on the brink

Which way would they fall?

Okay, I started to look for photos of human couples to accompany this honestly awful bit of poetry, but adding the cats seemed to make it all better.

Meow, people!