Out of luck and out of time
she wondered what it meant to get old.
She had spent forty-eight of her sixty-six years
working harder than one should have to
to get by.
Marriage ended early when all she wanted to be
was a wife
She had been waitressing at this diner,
since she was eighteen years old
and luck was just something people
talked about in movies-
Or when the jackpot of the
powerball was getting high enough to send everyone into a tizzy
Luck was not something she was out of –
it couldn’t be, when it had never gotten to her yet.
She spent her days elbow deep in other people’s meals
leftovers pushed into the trash
her commerce was a smile
and have a good day darlin’-
The only thing she had to sell was good will.
she wouldn’t have it any other way –
the lucky are just waiting, she believed,
for the next best thing – she was
glad to know what was coming next.
Days starts with an alarm clock and
a cat hungry for its next meal
an email sent to her sister in Arizona,
set up in some new retirement community-
a text message to her grandson in college at
the nearby state school.
Her bones, feel harder these days,
Her frame carries less pounds than it should,
her customers always ask how she stays so thin,
how she avoids the pie.
She worked doubles four days a week
had three days off.
Her extended family grew and shrank with the seasons
kids coming and going for the busy months,
they used to call her ma,
the were starting to call her gram now.
Nightimes are quiet, books
and tv shows,
characters filled in for absent lovers
she didn’t mind-
that there was no one there to fill her evening –
Her first husband hadn’t been around much,
her second couldn’t let her go with out a
well placed bruise.
She hadn’t missed a day of work in ten years,
scheduled her time off in the slow months,
traveled to see her grand-babies.
She figured, she would die like this –
They would know she was gone when
she didn’t show up for her shift.
She didn’t have luck to run out of,
it was just something that hadn’t showed up yet.