Cry (poem)

Posted by ractrose on 4 Dec 2017 in Art, Poems

Pastel drawing of women wearing visor cap






Floating below the wharf, he raps twice overhead

With the handle of a hand-net, the stranger with no shoes

And raffia hat, ambered at the crown with sweat

Summoning his awkward date

“Doesn’t matter,” is what he murmurs

She has let a nervous laugh escape

Forcing her to listen through a knothole, kneeling

Like a cookie’s fortune, through this whistle stop

stabs up a paper rolled around another thing

a plastic vial and tiny chip

If she can contrive it…and she must

she will brush this in her handbag

with all she’d feigned to spill

Should not have worn a dress…she tells herself this

but it’s hard to know in a tourist town, odd clothes and clumsy speech

the false note more blasé

The slightly false, though, too much purpose in the wrong place…

She looks at everything, catches a heel, walks her weight

on her toes, slow, coming from the waterfront, past restaurants

All alike with open bars, advertising neon, cocoanutty marimba

Don’t be tense, she tells herself

Buy a tee shirt

Hobble your left arm with another shopping bag

Buy a drink that has a straw

Sip and stump along and stall

Finally surprise comes, and she thinks goddamn

Her knee truly skinned

The mind wanders

She’d been drinking Coke. “You’re all right? You’re all right?”

There is that too. The role she has to act.

“I don’t know what I’ll do…my passport…all my money.”

Cry…she tells herself, and can’t. She never could.





Stylized acrylic painting of sepia-toned flag with crossesNarrowing the Path
















(2017, Stephanie Foster)




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