Monday, November 5, 2018


Not talking about the weather​

Her eyes say thank you but her shoulders remain hunched​
as she uses two hands to cradle the cup of coffee I give her.​
She is sitting on a bench watching the breeze chase dust​
against a department store wall. She wears a grey trouser​
suit with scuffed shoes and a beige trenchcoat which is unzipped​
but wrapped around her like a blanket. Her feet are tucked​
under the bench as if she is trying to take up the least amount​
of space possible. There's a trace of dry shampoo in her tousled ​
hair. From a distance, her face looks natural, but close-up ​
the contouring of foundation and layers of bronzer are evident.​
She looks like the sort of woman you'd seen in any office,​
in every office, the one that arrives early, leaves on time,​
rarely takes a sickday and does a competent but unremarkable job.​
She uses two hands to raise her coffee to sip. Says nothing.​
And I sit and wait until she's ready to talk. I don't care how​
she got into the trap she feels herself to be in. I do care​
about how she thinks she might get out. She crosses her legs,​
foot pointing in my direction. Perhaps today she'll talk.​

-- Emma Lee​

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