The Journal of Graduate Liberal Studies

XXII.1.CM15

 

poetry

Lilly

Rhonda Schmidt, Southern Methodist University

 

It’s Tuesday and Lilly’s here again,

taking a break from turning tricks outside

the one-hour motel,

as the blistering summer heat turns

the asphalt into a mirage.

 

“I’m just an old crack-head,” she says,

stretching her legs under the metal desk between us,

straightening the long black wig on her head,

as perspiration drips slowly down her face,

forcing a smile over her burned lip.

 

I gaze at her over my computer.

Bruises cover her arms, her white go-go boots are almost brown.

I write on my computer words like

“homeless, drug abuse, bipolar.”

 

And she tells me a joke that makes us both smile,

thanking me, for no reason at all.

 

And I will write her a prescription that most likely

won't help.

 

And my neighbor will tell me when I get home,

that her sprinkler system isn't working and the landscape

people don't answer their phone,

And it's too hot outside to do anything.

 

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