Alice, you saved the day.
From the moment I woke with a throbbing head
till I dragged up to your register at dusk,
this day was twelve hours of worthless.
Took the dog out: he ran away.
No bread, no milk: no breakfast.
Checked the mail: bounced a check.
Penalties on par with broken kneecaps:
highway robbery posing as Customer Service.
Work brought one cretin after another:
rude people, whiny people, impatient people,
stupid people . . . in multiples of three.
At lunch, my root beer was flat, my French fries were cold,
my hose got a run, my cell phone died,
while my headache still throbbed away.
Later, my computer froze up, the copier broke,
the repairman didn't call, but Visa did. Twice.
Heading home, I am a blob of pathetic morosity,
wending my way through drive-time traffic
in search of pharmaceutical relief.
And there, Alice, there you were--
your bright-lipped smile and big-bosomed
"Hey, hon'!" an antidote for this day's
rattlesnake snipes of reality.
With your discordant din of digitized beeps, your
halo of bright orange curls, your aw-buck-up,
tomorrow's-another-day assurance in your
flat-voweled, honey-drenched drawl,
you washed away the sins of the world
with the sweet milk of human kindness.
Bless you, Alice.
Keep the change.
© by Jayne Jaudon Ferrer
Used with the author's permission.