Working Woman

Wendy L. Brown
First-prize winner (tie) - poetry

Working Woman pauses
before her day begins
seated at a small round table in a cafe
coffee cup held half way to her lips
she dreams the door opens wide
as wide as her heart
this day when the
daffodils are so bright
in their yellow jackets
she cannot help but smile

Working Woman moves slowly
through the streets
brushes her skirt with a
free newspaper hoping that
in the few moments before the shoppers
begin their tour of stores and bargains
she will have time
to read her horoscope

and all the others, Pisces, Sagittarius,
Leo, predictions for friends, wondering
if her son far away in
another state will find
his day is five stars after all

Working Woman smiles
when people come up the stairs
smiles as she hands them their packages
tries to wrap everything neatly safely
she wants no surprises when they
are unwrapped at home, no
shattered delicacies, no fallen

Working Woman breathes
deeply between customers when there
is silence and she contemplates
her future and her past and if there
is a seamless connection
or at least there is the thought
that for one small moment
they are woven together

Working Woman leaves
all the glitter behind
without looking back
she finds her way across the plaza
to the bus, finds the bus that takes
her home to the rest of her life.
She checks for messages on the machine
figures out what to cook or not cook,
she plans to go out dancing
she thinks about long distance calls

Working Woman calculates the next time
the laundry must get done
she settles down to a book
or writes a poem
she wonders
how time could be slipping
so quickly out of her grasp
she wonders
if the daffodils will still be in bloom

© Wendy L. Brown

Wendy L. Brown lived communally for ten years, managing shelters for the homeless. Besides traveling all over the United States, she lived in Mexico, Spain, and Israel. She is a hospice volunteer, is in a women's writing group, and has studied alternative medicine. She has poems published in "Borderlands" and "Blue Collar Review" literary magazines and on The Arts Paper on-line magazine,

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