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A New Apron
Cristina M. R. Norcross

Tired shoes, worn soles
and laces that hang like wilted lettuce
Connie stares at the clock melting on the wall.
When her shift is over at Ray’s Diner,
the walk home will offer a moon’s view.
For now, the till slams closed
like a cymbal’s crash,
and the saltshaker bottles
still need a new layer of rice.
Once a week Connie exists
in the heaven of pottery class.
Heart and mind tell her hands what to do
no Jimmy, the short-order cook, barking.
A new apron would change it all.
One with tiny roses would make her feel
like a garden queen,
instead of a linoleum counter slave.
If rust fingerprints stain it from sculpting clay,
all the better
a sign of her creative labor.
Connie looks down and sighs
at her ketchup encrusted, blue polyester blouse.
“Hey, a customer at table nine is asking for his check,”
yells her boss, Louie.
With confident strides,
Connie walks out the front door
for the last time.
A new apron will change everything.

© by Cristina M. R. Norcross.
Used with the author’s permission.


Cristina M. R. Norcross lives in Wisconsin with her husband, their two sons, and a cat who loves to sleep on a warm, humming computer. Cristina is the founding editor of the online poetry journal, Blue Heron Review ( and the author of seven poetry collections. When not writing or editing, she travels to distant lands and designs jewelry from found treasures. Learn more about Cristina at



Post New Comment:
Lovely :)
Posted 07/23/2013 06:31 AM
"Instead of a linoleum counter slave"...a very apt description of how I imagine many waitresses feel. The last stanza is simple and liberating. Nice read and write!
Posted 07/19/2013 07:55 AM
Really enjoyed your poem and loved the last line; "new aprons all around"... Judy
Posted 07/18/2013 09:25 PM
Janet Leahy:
Great language in this poem, "the heaven of pottery class" testimony to how the arts can save our lives.
Posted 07/18/2013 11:00 AM
Nice imagery in this poem! I love it!
Posted 07/18/2013 10:52 AM
poignant, true poem, Cristina...lovely!
Posted 07/18/2013 08:42 AM
I love it, having been a HOJO girl back in the day! Wonderful language to convey such a liberating experience!
Posted 07/18/2013 08:07 AM
Ralph Murre:
Great narrative, Cristina. Thanks.
Posted 07/18/2013 07:59 AM
So many of us work at jobs like that on the way to bigger dreams, and love that moment of walking out the door!
Posted 07/18/2013 07:50 AM
So good to hear your voice. A great poem for everyone working at a not-my-dream job and for everyone stepping onto a new path.
Posted 07/18/2013 06:40 AM

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