A Maid’s Tale

An unsoiled bed, my ragged dress collide
with the aftermath of sordid affairs,
musical protégés, and overweight pitchmen.
Lipstick lines mark the scenes of passion and regret.

The stench looms, seeping into the carpet,
an ugly 1970's retro.
Toiling in the noonday sun
out of breath, bearing the weight of a cart,
a vacuum tethered to one end.

Hands wear gray, soap-stained, chemicals dry in my hair.
The wipe of a brow, the arch of my back,
the stretch of the torso, to battle the grime.
On my knees to the porcelain god,
seeking its purity once again.

Juanita J. Martin©2009

Published in Blue Collar Review 2009

2 AM

A barstool warms him
when the cold hand of life chills his soul.
A swig of sweet poison is a welcome friend.
It's a temporary panacea for the guilt of shadows.
His life story spills upon the counter.
His words are garbled, as haunting realities dissipate.
The darkness of other troubled ones closes in,
erasing the light flickering in his eyes.

A lonely patron slowly drinks,
as he shares failed dreams and vivid fantasies.
Glasses of courage mixed with regret
don't drown his burden mares.

As the bewitching hour arrives,
a bartender soaks up the aftermath,
of yet another among the nightly cast of
characters that act upon his stage.

-— Juanita J. Martin©2008

Published in Soma Literary Review- Spring 2009

October Moon

I no longer feel the long kiss of summer.
Auburn-colored leaves are now escorted by the wind.
Nighttime pulls its shade and turns on the light.
I wrap myself in its warm glow.

Juanita J. Martin©2007

Published in Song of the San Joaquin Poetry Journal- 2007
Won 2nd place ribbon- Solano County Fair- 2008

Echoes From The Valley

Dark twigs
are scarious

wafer thin

Crackling under
my feet

like dead bones
broken into pieces

—Juanita J. Martin©2008

Published in Rattlesnake Review - June 2008