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Friday, March 29, 2002

Another Birth Day

Brother Bill once said the VFW hall

is where old bowlers go to die.

Mom brings me here to celebrate my birthday

with a burger basket and a beer,

amidst coughs and hacks of skinny old men

and fat bottomed women with cigarette lines

carved around bright red lips.

You get a free drink on your birthday,

if youíre a member, and Mom is. How

I donít know, unless being a much decorated

survivor of two marriage wars

is her pass to the club.

I canít get comfortable

among the bowling shirts

and Billís words echoing in my head,

which aren't funny anymore since he fell

off a barstool and is dead.

Mom shouts to the bartender

Iím her daughter, and waits for the shocked

look of disbelief Ė we must be sisters, right?

The mirror shows two middle-aged women.

One nods and smiles.

One watches for ghosts.


Carol Borzyskowski