Three Poems by Ed Meek

These three poems by Ed Meek were triggered by actual events: a stranger is discovered on the porch in the suburbs in the 1950s and treated like a lost cat, a woman misses a bus and feels left behind, and someone at the end of his rope vandalizes a laundromat…

by: Ed Meek

The Stranger

I was the lucky one who found the stranger
Curled up like a cat on the couch on our porch.
I fetched my brother, sister, mom and dad
To check him out. My dad took charge,
Shaking him awake. It was 1956
In a suburb in America.

When he saw where he was, he said,
I must have had too much to drink.
We looked at his car perched on the curb.

My mom offered him a glass of milk.
He shook his head, smiled,
And scampered to his car.
As he drove away, we waved
And he waved back.

 

Missing the Bus

I could see from across the street
she’d just missed her bus. She snapped
her fingers, mouthed Damn!
I nodded because I had just
missed the bus many times —
too many to count. If only
we’d gotten up with the alarm,
left the house sooner,
learned to manage our time.

If only I’d finished college
and gone on to grad school
like I planned, I wouldn’t
be wasting my time
waiting for buses
or walking home when the bar closes
as the last bus passes by —
staring at the lucky ones
behind the glass.

 

Sympathy for the Vandals

Plywood comes in handy
when vandals smash the plate glass window
of the Winter Hill Laundromat.

I can see why someone
might lose it when the washer
that swallowed their coin
breaks down mid-cycle
and the dryer is clogged
with a lifetime of lint.

Who hasn’t thought of throwing
the first stone when no-one’s around?

The owners replace the glass;
but a week later it’s broken again.
The spider web of cracks
leads to a fist size hole.
Next day, the plywood is back
but the laundromat
is closed—for sale sign
where the window once was.

Now, dirty clothes pile up
like the unpaid bills
that can only be ignored so long.
I can see where you might begin
to feel like you’re the ones
who’ve been hung out to dry.

 

Ed Meek’s new book, High Tide, is available at Aubadepublishing.com and Amazon. He has poems coming out in Constellations, War, Literature and the Arts, North of Oxford and The Iris Literary Review. Follow him on Twitter @emeek and visit his website at Edmeek.net.

1 Comment

  • Sometimes the best stories are told with the simplest language. These images are familiar yet infused with something strange, as if we’ve never seen this stuff before. Art takes strange routes. There’s a bit of pop art in these poems, pictures of a soup can or a laundromat with smashed windows. I like them a lot. I hardly ever read poetry, except here. I know they have been curated and filtered by the very best readers.

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