Thursday, December 6, 2007

Paying The Rent

//paying the rent

The sky that day
was saffron.
My caretaker was in yellow
too, yellow with thin
black stripes.
Maddened as an
angry hornet, poking her
blonde bun with a hairpin,
she had a strange
smell, a mix of ‘medicine’
and butterscotch.
Her face was red,
and splotched,
with rivulets of sweat.
Her landlord was
coming for her check.
Mr. Turkey, she
called him because of
his gobbler neck.

She sent me off
to the library with an
overdue book, eager to
get rid of me. She told me
her ex had taken her money,
and she had to discuss
putting off paying the rent.
The sky was sulfur, stifling, and I
breathlessly hurried, and
dumped her book in the slot.

Outside the cool, dark library,
the egg-yolk sky seemed to move
towards me, to enclose me.
My heart pounded as I ran.
When I neared her house I
saw Turkey’s car, and him just
climbing in, old, black-suited, thin.
When I got home her bun of blonde
hair was undone, loose around her
neck and she was gulping medicine.
Her usual voice was back,
with a slur, a pleasant hum.
She pulled me into the shabby house as rain
began to spatter, carried by swirling wind,
and gave me a piece of butterscotch.

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