Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Poetry Bus - Did I Forget Something?

Our bus driver for this tour is 120 Socks. How she ends up with an even number of socks is a mystery to me. I always have orphan socks that sit alone in the drawer waiting in vain for the mate that disappeared forever, somewhere between my foot and the clothes dryer. The single sock gets to stay on only because I believe in miracles.

The prompts that 120 socks have given us are intriguing -

1. This was one of the first creative prompts I ever received and it proved to be a good one -

I knew a woman who........ or indeed I knew a man who........
(real/fictitious or somewhere in between)


2. The last time I was there...........

(again real,imagined, emotionally felt or pretty well any way you'd like to go with it)


3. The photograph below or the colour Amber.

I've chosen number two - the last time I was there...


I was sitting in a Waffle House
Just outside Peoria
Trying to get some syrup off my elbow
With one of those inadequate tissue napkins that pop out
None at a time
From a black and silver dispenser
Invariably jammed
Between sticky salt and pepper shakers
And a crusty catsup bottle

I wish to God that Estelle
(Her name tag reads)
Would spend more time
Cleaning syrup off chipped Formica table tops
And less time washing leatherette seats
With that sour dishrag
That appears to be universally owned
By every Waffle House in the region

Probably has “Waffle House Midwest”
Stamped on one smelly corner
And makes the rounds by express truck
Arriving three minutes before I do
At any given location

At least I can depend on a good cup of coffee
And a runny egg
If I want one

Reminds me of my mother’s kitchenette table
With that yellow oilcloth cover
Always slightly damp from a sour dishrag
Frayed some around the pinking-sheared edges
Dotted with small blue flowers

Probably forget-me-nots
Must be
Because I haven’t

And those cigarette burns on the corner
Where my father used to sit
And peruse the morning paper
Over his runny eggs

Might as well call the cigarette burns
Forget-me-nots too
Because I haven’t

Cynthia Ann Conciatu

Stop by 120 Socks for more bus riding poetry HERE!


120 Socks said...

You're on the bus and I love this poem.

Oilcloth, my God we had them tablecloths as well, and the line about the dishrag, we had them too!

I'll be back to have another read later and will comment with more depth. Thanks for joining the dodgy bus, and just to add none of the 120 socks match, I have collected many odd ones over the years!

MuseSwings said...

Thank you for stopping by - and especially for your comment about the mismatched socks. I feel much better now.

Dave King said...

An excellent response to the prompt. Well done.

Kat Mortensen said...

I love your "I haven'ts", Cynthia. I felt as if I was sitting in the next booth - you painted such a clear picture of the scene.


Helen said...

OMG! OMG! One of my all time favorite poems! It struck a chord.

Peter Goulding said...

Oh the venom dripping off the page like syrup onto a table" The dispenser that hands them out none at a time, the universally owned dish cloth etc
Lovely link too back to the table at home

Doctor FTSE said...

Lots of well imagined and trenchant detail in this amusing poem.

Jinksy said...

120 Socks tells me I managed to leave YOUR comment on HER blog! Now I can't find it! hehehe! I believe it told you that I loved the'forget-me-nots because I haven't' appraoach, as well as the None dispenser... I hope this ends up where I intend it to be! LOL
Idiot Pen :)

Lydia said...

This is an excellent poem! I was going "eewewwwww!" here at my computer smelling that rag. All your descriptions here really put me in the booth.

carma said...

love your waffle house description - I'm always hesitant to visit one for many of the reasons you describe ;-) too much stickiness for me I guess!