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Lunch Guest, 1939
Peggy Trojan

Mom, who’s that man on the steps?
     Just somebody passing through.
Why is he here?
     Because he was hungry.
What is he eating?
     A fried egg sandwich.
And coffee?
     Yes, and coffee.
Why is he eating out there?
     He said he liked it outdoors.
How did he know where we lived?
     I guess they tell each other.
Where is he going?
     Back to the train, I think.
Is he ever coming back?
     Probably not.
Why did he call you “Ma’am”?
     I think he was just being polite.

This poem first appeared in Verse Wisconsin.
Used here with the author’s permission.



Peggy Trojan, after a career of teaching English, retired to the north woods of Wisconsin. There, she and her husband, David, with the help of family, built a house next to a trout stream. Peggy stays busy writing and making jam from the raspberry patch she carefully and lovingly tends. Peggy is a member of the Wisconsin Fellowship of Poets, and is the author of two full-length poetry collections and six chapbooks. Learn more about her here.



Post New Comment:
What a lesson for a child.
Posted 12/07/2013 10:08 AM
Wow! This is a real piece of history. Loved it. You might check out the novel, Housekeeping, my favorite book.
Posted 12/05/2013 07:01 PM
Wonderful poem! I love dialogue!
Posted 12/05/2013 02:58 PM
ed werstein:
Excellent work, Peggy!
Posted 12/05/2013 11:13 AM
Judith Heron:
This poem is in itself a beautiful ripe berry. The way you have written it, like a duet, Peggy...guitar and dulcimer...such simple much to say. It graces my day.
Posted 12/05/2013 11:06 AM
Wilda Morris:
This brings back memories of stories I heard in childhood - hobos who came to my grandparents' door, and to the parsonage at the First Baptist Church. They knew they would get a meal.
Posted 12/05/2013 09:54 AM
Beautifully, this reminds me of Christina M. Norcross's poem, ONE STORY, prompted by the quotations from Charlie Kaufman: "There are nearly thirteen million people in the world. None of those people is an extra. They’re all the leads of their own stories." — from the film Synecdoche, New York
Posted 12/05/2013 09:44 AM
Very nice poem. So concise--a trim poem taking advantage of form to eliminate quotation marks, attribution, and all that stuff fiction writers have to deal with.
Posted 12/05/2013 08:53 AM
I knew a hobo..left home at the age of 12 during the depression years and rode the rails for food and work. This reminded me of his life. Thank You!
Posted 12/05/2013 08:29 AM
Peggy, this is awesome, I can hear Woody Guthrie singing. Imagine how happy the hobo was for a fried egg sandwich!
Posted 12/05/2013 06:06 AM

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