– for Rita
She loomed upon the darkened corner of dank
the office I inhabited was flooded
with lilac perfume and waves of spray
for the coif perched high on her head.
This menacing woman glided into my office
her eyes were bright and hard
her mouth was stretched into a smile
but my heart was immediately charred
Her voice was deceptively sweet,
though it betrayed her snobbiness soon
She looked down her nose at me
And yet my respect for her grew.
As the weeks passed, I found out her bluntness
didn’t mask any hatred for me
I found out her unabashed bluntness
Was actually honoring me.
She plucked out my strengths from my weakness
and held them before me on a platter
The platter she created from wisdom
And she thrust it at people who matter.
This hard-ass lady from my hometown
Somehow though I’ve moved across country
Still coiffed and cultivated as ever
Is the source of my greatest story.