On Writing

Poem 220 – Judgement & Ode to Lady (a two-for today!)

Judgement

Waiting in line for public bathroom use affords one this:
judgement on the person using the bathroom before you

The person who exits, his/her/their clothing, hair, overall look
will avail scrutiny but what’s more is his/her/their respect for the toilet

In this case, [pronoun] high thread count, heavily labelled clothing and tight
new-leather boat shoes proved incongruent with [pronoun] toilet treatment

Urine on the toilet – both the lid (still lifted) and the porcelain circumference
there were dribbles even on the floor at the toilet’s base

Base.

Judgement: Ew.
Judgement: Really?
Judgement: Couldn’t even put the seat down?
Judgement: Toilet Respect FAILURE.

I growled as I uber-cleaned [pronoun]’s yellow wiz mess with speedy fervour
(I’d been holding in my business for hours)

Once complete, I wiped the toilet down again
I even pulsed a few squirts of vanilla spray into the air

The person entering after me to be welcomed by a sweet scent
and the relief of a clean loo

The Toilet Respect Failure stood in line awaiting [pronoun] order
I’m sure it was not respect that filled the steaming cup [pronoun] paid for


Ode to Lady

“You look like a lady who needs a cup of coffee!”
The not-lady behind the bar said jovially
as she re-filled my coffee with steaming brew
I smiled under my mask & cracked a joke
the wrinkles on my throat skin puckering in embarrassment

Lady, oh lady.
Me, a lady?

To the bartender who is twenty:
I am Lady.
To her male counterpart:
I am Ma’am.
To the age in my mind:
I am Girl.

Lady, oh lady.
Me, a lady.

Skin tags flop like the past’s flags on my neck
Stretch marks weave like clusters of rivers rushing over my hips
Salt & pepper hair is really mostly sugar with traces of coffee
The pepper has moved to my chin
The salt to my eyebrows with a few lone strands
burrowing in the thinning forest below my second belly
that bulbous old-wet-cheese-sponge of fat constantly reaching for my kneecaps

Lady, oh lady.
Me, this lady.

Barely able to comprehend that I am twenty years older than
the twenty year old behind the counter
Wasn’t it just yesterday that I galloped through
that wildly tumultuous decade of womanhood?
I am beyond that part of town now, aren’t I?

Oh, the ladies lean into the sunset just a little more
It’s not so bad, the dry heat

Lady, oh lady.
Me, Lady.

A lady let’s go of labels
A lady bats lashes not age
A lady likes coffee
indulges in a second cup

“You look like a lady…” she said

I smile under my mask

One thought on “Poem 220 – Judgement & Ode to Lady (a two-for today!)

  1. HAHAHAHAHA to the first poem!! Oh my god!! HAHAHAHA we’ve all been in that poem.

    And as for the second… something changed within me the first time I was called ma’am.

    /sigh.

    LoL.

    Making it to being called Ma’am, or lady, is a WIN. We WIN. We made it ♥

    Love you woman!

    On Sun, Aug 8, 2021 at 4:32 PM VANESSA SHIELDS, writer wrote:

    > Vanessa Shields posted: ” Judgement Waiting in line for public bathroom > use affords one this:judgement on the person using the bathroom before you > The person who exits, his/her/their clothing, hair, overall lookwill avail > scrutiny but what’s more is his/her/their respect fo” >

    Like

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