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a poem by John Dorsey

a student of drama

my mother used to make me
watch soap operas
with the volume turned up
as she vacuumed the shag green carpet
in our mobile home

"What are they saying?" she'd yell

when i suggested turning off the vacuum
she'd say that she didn't need to hear the words
to understand the emotion

so i acted out murder plots, baby switching scenarios
& scandalous love affairs like a pro
until it was time for the nightly news

the trailer park had its own storyline
filled with betrayal & broken dinner plates
vows hidden in ceramic cookie jars
& cast into the shadows of better memories

later she would make me
do table readings of the bible
while listening to barry manilow
on 8 track while we waited
for jesus to come back

while my dinner got cold

in our house
there was a thin line
between salvation
& product placement

endearments came complete
with theme music

i became a student of drama
who thought of heaven
as some crumbling city
with just enough commercial breaks
to fill in the cracks

© by John Dorsey
Gutter Eloquence Magazine ~ Issue #22 ~ July 2012    return to top