Thursday, March 02, 2006

The flies in Rosie's Laundromat

The flies
in Rosie's Laundromat
circle lazily
on Sunday morning
fat and sated
from easy proximity
to Saturday night's dregs
in the adjoining diner's
aromatic dumpster
out the open back door.

Gray haired Rosie
looks like Tugboat Annie
and rules the place
from her scarred change counter
like a judicious bartender
briskly handing out
quarters, advice, glares
with a queenly demeanor
and fine impartiality
open sometimes to donating
a free wash and spin dry
after a hard luck story
from a neighbourhood regular
but mostly taking no guff
from any of us who line up
on the worn brown linoleum
of her institution
with motley plastic baskets
garbage bags, duffle bags
and polyester pillow cases
looking to wash away
the week's stains and spills
and renew our bright whites
in scarred and noisy machines
that offer routine russian roulette
to clothes with a death wish
while their owners
if they still have coins
act out homicidal impulses
at the noisy video games
or if they don't
ask to borrow Rosie's
flyswatter awhile.


David Scrimshaw said...

You're dipping into the archives for this one.

Surprised you didn't work in the Herman cartoons with the names changed to "Rosie" and... I can't remember the guy's name... Was he her husband?

coyote said...

I believe he was....