Poem: Maureen, the Pied Cow, and the Fire in the Woodshop

Maureen, the Pied Cow, and the Fire in the Woodshop

We had only recently met
And you showed me that place
Made me learn to like black olives
We ate a whole plate of them
Slices of feta helped them down
We had coffee and we enjoyed
The talk that new-found friends employ
Every thing in the room was a different color
I remember liking you, liking that place

In a former life I worked in a woodshop
That caught fire one day at lunchtime
We were too far down the road to see the smoke
Returned belly-full from a slow service restaurant,
Dust rising from behind the truck as we
Sped toward the shop,
The black plume now visible rising from the
Back of the building
We grabbed what we could, which wasn’t much
And all I remember was leaving, weeping,
Incapable of helping
All not touched by flame or water was
Wasted by smoke
And for years that smell, or anything that neared it
Filled me with nausea

I tried a couple of times
To go back to that place with the black olives
I was determined to appreciate them
The windows were black, the rooms were dark,
And I was determined to understand
I found that note on the door
Heard that story sigh from lips
Each told the tale of the crime
I looked again at the black windows
Smelled the smoke in my sinuses
And felt that specific heartache,
That nebulous loss

© Eileen Ridge

Poem: That Friend of Yours

That Friend of Yours

I never felt the need to apologize
to some kid about my music
that boy with the new license and the old car
who told tales, raucous reports
of late places on the right nights
in the capital city
with a squad of strangers
on the prime drugs
to dance and whirl with ecstasy
I never felt the need Continue reading

Poem: Rana Plaza

On April 24, 2013, an eight-story commercial building named Rana Plaza collapsed in Bangladesh. It was located in Savar, in area of the capital city of Dhaka. Over 1000 people lost their lives, and over 2500 more were injured, making it the deadliest garment-factory accident in history.

Rana Plaza

The tag said
Made in Bangladesh
The price was less than
A Starbucks cup Continue reading

Poem: Spring Storm

We live in one of those places where people say, “If you don’t like the weather, wait five minutes.” I wrote this when my daughter was eight, and I think about it every year at this time.

Spring Storm

When it begins she runs to the window
Wide-eyed, she lingers there
a piston pumping up and down
I imagine other children around the city
moving up and down at their windows
parts of a giant engine that would
make this fluff fall faster Continue reading