Whenever Lolly stops me
on my midnight rounds
just to chat about the night
I shine my flashlight in her eyes
and whisper low so the other
working girls can’t hear me,
“Lolly, it’s your intelligence
and taste I find so appealing.
I appreciate that upper lip
you’ve lit up in neon red
so artfully with lipstick.”
We talk about mortgages and kids
whether hers are back in school,
whether mine are still in college,
whether my brother ever sends a check.
When finally I say I have to go,
she giggles like Monroe, gets all
blonde and bouncy, saucy to a fault,
waves good-bye with a grand sashay,
thrilled again to be on her way, pleased
that once again I won’t take her in.