Shirley Temmel Jericho, TN Poet

I Put on My Face

At the bus terminal a man watched me
look at my watch like he could read
the times I balked before mustaches.

In the seat I placed my bag between
sweat bands impressed by nervous
teenage girls’ bare thighs and the
aisles marked by sleepy feet of
easily aroused migrants.

I heaved my own bags in the cab
rather than let the driver know
the weight of my things was
lighter than recently made memories
of the man who lifted me like a thief.

While buildings screamed by, I heard
something ominous caught in the
throat of a crow, but we stopped
for the light—she turned out to be
a sun-jeweled blue jay, fronting.

Shirley Temmel is a senior studying Biology while writing her first collection of poems in Jericho, TN.


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