Karen Paul Holmes
Freelance writing pays my bills, but poetry has my heart. A community of poets opened up when I joined the North Carolina Writers' Network in 2008. I attended workshops and critiques, started a monthly open mic, and formed the Side Door Poets. My full-length book is Untying the Knot, and credits include Prairie Schooner, Poetry East, and Best Emerging Poets 2015 (Stay Thirsty Media).www.facebook.com/karenholmespoetry
She Sits Alone in a Red Sequined Sweater at Ruby Tuesdays
Too festive to go home
after church, she stops at the mall—
decorated like her for Christmas.
My mother chats too much
to the kind waiter who listens.
She calls me from Florida to report
I had that oh-so-tender Petite Sirloin,
the best baked potato,
and a chocolately Triple Layer Brownie
the waiter chose for me.
Then he said the young couple in the next booth
paid my entire check!
I want to fly to Florida, track down
those strangers, pump their hands, hug their necks,
buy them groceries for the rest of their lives.
Instead, I imagine their eyes
meeting across the table, conspiring
Let’s buy her lunch.
Maybe they held hands, and yes,
thought of their grandmothers—round faces
with deep smile lines, making the most
of sitting alone in red sequined sweaters
and black brimmed hats.
Appeared in a slightly different version in Weatherings anthology (FutureCycle Press, June 2015).
©2016 Karen Paul Holmes
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