the first time i said i was married



café on the top floor

could smell the coffee from the elevator

along with faint scent of grey flannel

he could have been my paternal figure

he had that south philly banter

italian market swag

drank egg cream without his wife on Sunday mornings to avoid mass

wearing a taxi hat, white t-shirt, plaid shorts

fashionable enough not to wear black socks

never kneeling to pray

instead he kissed the medal of St. Peregrine

pinned to his sleeve

pressed the highest button

smiled and said,

you smell amazing; you’re husband must take really good care of you.

I smiled and nodded.

I’d ask you to have brunch with me but if my wife saw you

took my hand and kissed it.

i’m a dyin old dog anyway…do me a favor?

order the blackened salmon salad. it’s so big

take it home and share it with your husband

t’was the first time i said i was married

the first time the joy of another

made me wish t’was too.

©michele mitchell, 2014


For this week’s prompt, write a poem in which you’ve imagined a story for a stranger. Maybe someone you see on public transportation, a couple at the laundromat, or a neighbor. Is the person more fabulous than expected? Fallen upon harder times? Exactly as one might guess? If you need ideas, use this prompt as an excuse to do some “research” by getting out and about in the world today/this week.

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