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Linda (A New Orleans Poem) August 18, 2014

Posted by vscorpiozine in Veteran Poets.
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Linda (A New Orleans Poem)
I sat at a table
At Mena’s Palace in the French Quarter
drinking coffee and waiting for my breakfast,
When she came up to me.
She had stark white cropped hair
And Harlequin glasses
Like a Cold War secretary
“I know you,” she said, in a bloozy voice
Even though she wasn’t drunk—not yet anyway.
“You’re friends with that guy Dirk.”
“Dan,” I corrected.
“What ya writing in your notebook?”
She sat down and we talked about
The Upper East Side of Manhattan,
Her kids,
And our punk rock pasts,
Till the cook chimed the bell
For the next order of grits
Glaring at us from his
little window
at the back of the restaurant.
It was ten a.m.
And 90 degrees.
The next day, we went to see a documentary about
Dead Can Dance and smoked pot in the theater parking lot,
Evading a cop car at the other end of the street.
Linda called her kids every ten minutes.
When I met them, I was shocked.
From the way she described them
I thought they’d be miniature adults,
Not children scribbling in a
Little Mermaid coloring book.
I babysat her kids once.
They stole the neighbors’ wind chimes
And showed me how to hook up cable
without paying.
Linda and I went bar-hopping,
Drank frozen Irish coffee at Molly’s,
picked up tourists at the Pat O’ Brien’s,
commiserated over redneck landlords
And hit and run lovers.
We sneaked into clubs through the back door,
Had our friend Eric cook us a Thai dinner
While we discussed some photo project
That never materialized.
The guy Linda tried to pick up at Travelers Aid
Called me up one night,
Disgusted and exhausted after a few hours with Linda and her kids,
He couldn’t hack it.
He said he was leaving town.
“Good luck,” he told me, “You’re gonna need it.”
One night Linda took a wrong turn
And we ended up by the exit to the Florida Avenue Housing Projects
“Oh, my God! We’re going to get killed!” I screamed, “We’re going to die bloody, violent
“Oh, shut up,” she scolded, “Stop being such a wimp!”
A few minutes later we were back on Carrollton safe and sound.
“I can’t believe we did that. We were five seconds away from Florida Avenue,” Linda
“Well, God protects fools and children,” I said
“Yeah, and we’re like foolish children,” Linda and I burbled simultaneously.
“We’re really protected!”
The last time I saw Linda
She broke down my front door
She ripped the phone chord from the wall as my boyfriend tried to call the cops,
And drove away with her kids screaming in the back seat of the car.
God, I miss that girl.
 Copyright 2006 Jade Blackmore


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