I worry about the woman in the Phoenix airport,
the look in her eyes as a man shouts at her, kicks her
red suitcase, swears. All around them, travelers
keep to their schedules with just quick
glances over their shoulders.
And the woman at Kill Devil Hills, who walks on the beach
with a man who lets go of her hand, backs away.
She runs into the ocean, shoulders through waves;
he walks on. When she comes back to shore,
jeans and shirt dripping, she searches to see
where he’s gone, hurries to catch him.
And the woman in the Boston bar—
she and the man both wobbly with beer,
his voice getting louder, hers softer. As he leaves,
he topples his chair. She stares into her purse
for money to pay the tab.
And the woman pushed from a car
outside a Chicago hotel. She brushes grit
from her fur coat, plucks at the knee
of her stocking, then straightens and walks
through the door without looking at anyone.
As if that will make her invisible.
Pat Daneman (MFA, Binghamton U) grew up on Long Island and currently lives in Lenexa, Kansas. She has published poetry and fiction in The Spoon River Poetry Review, Poem, ThePedestalMagazine.com, Blood Orange Review, Inkwell, RE:AL, The Cortland Review, Fresh Water and other small print and on-line magazines. In 2009 she was a Pushcart Prize nominee and my poem “Thanksgiving,” published in The Apple Valley Review, was selected for the Best of the Net Anthology.