Downtown Girl

Time cradles without you knowing
There are no warnings
She rode the bus all the way downtown
With a wish and a tinge of hope
Only to be turned down – because she was slightly, too brown
Too simple, too young – her words did not go beyond who she was
And they could tell

Finally, finding a place where she could punch in
Iron all day, sweat all night
She paid all she made, to someone who cared
But she cared even more
She knew about love, loss, and lies
This was the only way to live
So, she thought
Someone told her this, and she believed them
Simple, naïve, and with a servants heart she labors away
Up until this very day

White, cracked, creased lines on her hands tell their stories
Yet, her coffee-skin is still beautiful and full of butter
She lathers with her favorite potions and creams
The ones her daughter buys her
Because she can afford them
These bottles sit buy her night stand
Where her cane now rest
And so does she

By Elizabeth Mendiola
© 2013

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