2 September 2002 | Vol. 2, No. 3

Mural of a Broken Curfew

She's queasy over orange juice

and muffin batter rising

while shots of booze

she can't recall names for

bang a cadence at her temples.

There's no apron worn

in this kitchen but last night's

clothes fashion a route—

back door to bathroom—

where she laid, crumpled

like a past due bill

until a televangelist woke her

from a cable station in the living room.

This is how her children will remember her—

putrid with smoke

and bare as the walls,

withdrawing over a skillet

of grease splattering

and an effort to recall what day it is

and why she can't die on the Sabbath.

About the author:

Shelly Reed writes in Norwalk, Iowa, where she enjoys regular silence. Her work appears extensively online and in print, nationally and internationally. Recent poems appear or are scheduled for appearance with Comrades, Sometimes City, Wilmington Blues, and 2River.

For further reading:

See the complete list of work by Shelly Reed at 42opus. Browse the contents of 42opus Vol. 2, No. 3, where "Mural of a Broken Curfew" ran on September 2, 2002. List other work with these same labels: poetry.

42opus is an online magazine of the literary arts.

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