Poets Needed

"Poets come out of your closets, open your windows, open your doors, you have been holed up too long in your closed worlds. Come down, come down . . ." --Ferlinghetti

Open mic poetry readings every thursday at 8pm with your local Cooper-Youngin' Kim Hooss. Please bring your heart with you.

Java Cabana Weekly Poem

At the Beauty Shop Having a Breakdown

by Mary Burns



Now you just set yourself right down and listen here
while I shampoo your pretty hair. I'm going to tell you
like I tell my three girls. My oldest one is twenty-nine.
A woman always has the upper hand. You hear.

A man will push you as far as you let him. Yes ma'am.
I can tell by the way you are crying, you love
your man more than you love yourself. Never go
loving a man more than you love yourself. No ma'am.

You need to jazz it up. He'll be out in the cold
shoveling snow if you put that foot down.
A pretty girl like you. And you got a figure too.
Why you need to be out there celebrating.

You're not ugly. You're not fat. And you're sitting
here crying over a man who don't have enough sense
to treat you like a woman needs to be treated. Yes ma'am.
A pretty girl like you. You married to him? Why thank the lord.

No need to be crying. Look here at your pretty hair.
I 'll tell you what my oldest daughter says,
she says, "Mama, men use to be worth a dime a dozen,
now they're worth a penny." You got children by him?

Well thank the lord, you sitting here upset you'd be miserable
tied up with a man like that all your days. Yes ma'am. A pretty
girl like you. You better listen to me, I'm telling you like I tell
my own daughters. A good man is right around the corner.

Even a bad man has got a few good men around him. And they watch
and wait for his woman to leave and when she does, there is a good man
around to make sure she gets in good hands, Yes ma'am, maybe even his.
A pretty girl like you. You better listen to me. This old woman knows her words.

A woman always has the upper hand. Yes ma'am.

Want to read previous poems? Check out our poetry archive

Serving Cooper-Young and Memphis since 1992.





"Do or do not... there is no try." - Yoda