All Things Considered on a Monday Morning in the USA
She suspends a tear fogging the lens
Of her driving glasses;
Sad stories on the radio.
A wire-haired woman,
Fishes her books from ruin,
Gentle brown hands smoothing each page,
The Tempest makes her pause she says,
As she sets them on a shelf up high to dry.
Another inspiration, down in New Orleans;
But Oh Man, back when she was 23, with lots of swing
And that rum thing – Ooo Lord Sugar Mama,
Came from every corner as she passed,
Gimme mo' a dat Cha-Ching;
A moist slip for her dress.
Now, that City is a broken down mess,
Limping against its unsteady backbone,
Progress made at an arthritic pace.
It was all she could take.
And it was not to say she did not hear
Their discomfort or disappointment over lost summer fun,
The Royal Hawaiian Luau,
Fresh pineapple in the sun.
There were plenty of gifts never received,
Words of love never believed –
So, when the young girl from Bakersfield came on
To tell her tale of woe, it was like OMG, my hair got wet
In the rain, and I had to sleep in the car, and
Dad, what a dope, thought he packed the tent stakes;
And, well, Mom had just had it;
Not even a soupcon of French milled soap
To be found in this Six Flags campsite:
How low can you go?
It was then she pulled the car over to the side of the road,
Where the forget-me-nots grow in the spring,
And sobbed in the memories.
Not one of them thought to take a blanket and a book
To read by an icy river on a hot summer day
Under an ancient tree for almost free.
- -Jane Rogan