estrogized (a waiter poem)

larry’s got fourteen women
at two of his tables
and everyone knows
women are terrible tippers
we all feel sorry for him
i tell him
to use his male charms
and he says

i can’t charm them
they’re all dried up
they’ve got husbands
and children at home

i tell him
women are never so dried up
that they can’t be charmed

i’ve been reading about menopause
about the estrogen
getting turned off
like some unused faucet
about vaginas drying up
like unwanted avocados
painful intercourse
and i think i’d rather
go against god’s plan
take some little blue estrogen pills
and get breast cancer
than turn into a thing
with tits and a moustache
bleeding from a visiting penis

larry complains:

all i hear is
“sir sir
will you get me some honey
for my biscuits
could i have more dressing
siiir siiiiir”

they’ve been there for hours
we feel sorry for him
but we’re glad it’s him
and not us

to tell you the truth
i don’t think larry could charm
not even his mother
he’s short and stubby
like a pencil gnawed at both ends
i wonder why they hired him
and i worry about him
housesitting my home
this december
i worry that my female cat
will hide or run away
for the two weeks he’s there

they’ve been here all night
and now one of larry’s women
calls me over
i bend down close to her
an african american woman
in the middle of her life
she is gracious
as a stranger
inviting me
into her home

she tells me they’re ready
for the check

when they leave
they tip larry well

i think it’s larry
who’s all dried up
i don’t think
he has enough

wendy shaffer

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