Tuesday, July 27, 2010

First Presentation

All those eyes
looking at me --
my classmates,
meek as lambs too.
Their eyes filmy
with distant voids
sharing their shock for me
when the teacher
calls my name...
her eyes pierce mine
like flying daggers
that aim at me.

I hide under the table --
try not to receive
their condemnation.
No solid closet
with locking door
to crawl into.
Only wide spaces
between chair legs
to peek through.
She repeats my name.
I cannot do it...
even if demon hands
grab me by the shirt,
drag me out on the floor,
scoot and shove me
to the front of the room,
I cannot do it.

No whispering,
no fingers pointing,
just dumbfounded faces
that stare at this girl
too shy to go up there
for her first presentation.

(Author's note: This memory dates back to my early elementary school days.)

Monday, July 26, 2010

A Waiter at El Patio

This tall, clumsy, yet handsome man
wearing indigo and bone,
and well-groomed auburn hair,
smooth talks ol' Al
into serving customers' drinks.
He emerges holding a
big, round charcoal tray --
unstable glasses and bottles
waddle in slow motion,
lean and sway
like pivoting dancers who,
in seconds, swivel, loop
rotate, propel in larger circles
as he approaches our table.

Quick, I push back my chair
pop up from the table
step far enough away.
Tipsy bottles and glasses wobble
clank against each other
like struck bowling pins.
Liquids spill onto the table
on people's laps, onto their hair,
soaking their clothes.
I get a quick whiff of beer,
wine, rum and coke.
Bottles and glasses fall,
crash and shatter on the floor –
startling reflexes, scowling lips,
protruding eyeballs, flaring nostrils.
Patrons shriek, yell,
flail their arms into the air,
grabbing thin napkins
to soak up the puddles.

I rub my chin,
sprint to the left,
skip on my way
to the bathroom, laughing
like an hysterical escapee.