Two dollar cover band,
typical on a Friday night.
We could have gone to the wine garden
in the alley.
Steve wanted to try the biker bar instead.
Neon markers decorate the sign behind the bar.
I order the special off the board.
They should call it Friday’s dishwater instead of
It is too cheap to switch it out for something else.
I wished I had a cigarette to mask the cheap tequila on my tongue.
Now I regret not ordering a bottled beer like the other
moms sitting at the back tables.
They’re all dressed in their Friday best.
Tube-tops and jeans they wouldn’t want their daughters to wear.
The cover singer could be a math teacher.
You wouldn’t be able to tell from the pinkish lighting.
His black and rose biker shirt fits with the panel wood flooring.
One chick in the back is the only one who rocks with the song.
“You know the words,” he cuts in.
The bar sings along and you can see the sweat blends in with the singer’s hair-gel.
It is just after 11PM.
The band fades fast the more cobblestone road I walk on.
My dishwater condensates on to the coaster,
marking the last time I order from a specials board.
The First Home I Remember,
we had a pond.
It was filled with dyed, blue water.
I think it was to hide the fact that
we didn’t have fish.
My sister fell in
So, she had to soak in the tub
before the guests came,
For a dinner party.
She had fallen into a painter’s pallet.
Walking like a bird caught in oil.
Dripping blue across the yard’s tiles
her shirt was never white again.
I didn’t need to change my clothes
a blue dot on my sock was the only mark on me
of the incident.
Eight years ago, the hospital sent her home with a
morphine drip to die. The same week, I failed my health
That May, we drove the four hours to her house to go
through her treasures.
The same roads I had traveled year after year before that
to see great-grandma at the beach.
205 Seabright Avenue.
The main floor,
stacked five feet high, and the
door opened just enough to squeeze through.
They had painted away the yellow must and burnt dust I
grew up with, the walls were now a fresh, white protégé.
I could only shame them in my mind when my grandma
asks how it looks.
It’s nice and bright, I reply.
I pick the wooden horse pulling a cart out of the discard
pile, my mom says it has a broken wheel. I always loved
it though, I tell her.
My grandma has the exact one, in her house, next to a
kiwi bird from New Zealand.
The wooden horse and cart now sit on my bookshelf,
next to my copy of Gone with the Wind.
The house is a hoarder’s closet, with a television.
The two-seat couch and 5 by 5 inches area of open carpet
space is the only room.
We find on the desk, a Travel Guide to Alaska.
An empty house stands on a Monday morning. The sun
peaks through the dirty screen. I sit on the flowered
patterned couch one last time. The sun bounces off the
beaten rose carpet that still has wheelchair tracks
embedded in it.
Katherine Hughes is a writer and an Adjunct English professor in Florida. She holds an MA in Creative Writing. Katherine is a fan of trivia quizzes, baking, and lavender lattes. There are a lot of ideas swirling in her head. Sometimes they turn into poems and fiction stories.
Connect with her at: https://alwayskatherine.com and @alwayskatherineblog