1. Did I leave it under the bed
With the sandal I kicked off last summer
Dull with the dust of unintended neglect
In need of a good polish
If I can just find the right color?
2. “Why can’t you be like everyone else?”
I don’t know. It was 1966
Recently, I found my prom photo:
Blue gown, hair sprayed straight
My date, long dead of AIDS.
3. “Your big mouth will get you in trouble.”
Shame it out of me if you can
Shake me when I’m four
Beat me for a bad dream
Tell me I don’t know what I’m talking about.
4. You’re the artist, I’m the hack
Paper the house with rejection slips – not mine!
I encouraged you, supported you, paid the bills
A convenient arrangement
It worked until it didn’t.
5. In some Santa Rosa motel room
Restaurant closed, TV disconnected, mystery finished
Setting the sum of all I know and have read
To the tune of I-40 big rigs
I dare to pick up my pen.
Sharon Niederman, 2012