I've made most of my limited fortune in the non-profit sector, meaning I'm easy prey for a needy arts or social justice group (no phone calls, please). I'm the author of Sister Satellite and six chapbooks including Kamikaze Commotion, also a fitting descriptor for my poetic style, personality and parenting prowess. You’ll find my poetry in places like North American Review, Third Wednesday and NY Quarterly, but you’ll have to travel to Appleton, Wisconsin for a look at the latter two. www.cathryncofell.com.
On Being Mistaken for the Hostess at The Maize in Newark
I apologize for my khaki slacks and black blouse.
I apologize for my confident walk,
my Midwestern way of looking strangers in the eye and saying hi.
I apologize for looking like a woman who could land parties of 15 at tables for eight
with only a table napkin and smart phone as semaphore.
I am so sorry I was told service work was no damn way
for any daughter of mine to make a living,
for groveling my way up the corporate step stool.
I apologize for the poor service,
for my inability to levitate your tired bodies.
I apologize for feeling the need to apologize for your mistake.
Let me bring you a menu.
Let me bring you my half eaten fruit plate, what’s left of my wine.
Please take my seat and these, they belong to my friends
who have had too much to drink.
Please, take my friends, and my coat, and my wallet.
Forgive me, dear stranger, for your frown tells me I have surely sinned,
a mere woman on vacation in the Garden State.
©2015 Cathryn Cofell