A Place of Her Own
by Mary Sullivan
She rather needed a place to call her own,
but the dingy apartment was just too small,
and anyway, Tommy's cries of the injustice
of an afternoon nap disrupted her peace.
So she grabbed her almost empty pack of cigarettes
and two bottles of Bud, then without so much
as a backward glance, she left her tiny apartment
and headed down the stairs.
She didn't go far - didn't need to.
Just to the bottom of the stairs, where
she could still hear Tommy and keep
an eye on the door.
The cigarettes and beer went quickly,
(and damn these old steps with their peeling paint!)
But the yard was pretty, with wildflowers and roses
riding along the back fence.
The sun felt good against her face, turning her fair cheeks
a rosy pink, (and gosh, what a nice day to be outside!)
Suddenly the phone rings, waking Tommy, of course.
(Damn that phone!)
It's just as well- dinner is long overdue,
the clothes are finally dry,
the litter box needs cleaning,
Tommy is crying.
But the next time the laundry and dishes are piled as high as the bills,
and Tommy wont "be a good boy for Mum, please,"
and all those other things that Mother
always warned about -
She'll steal away to bottom of the back steps -
to that pretty little place
that is all
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