After the flight
after the drive from the airport
after we waited and waited at the hotel
she showed up.
After she had her Coke and rum
after she showed off her Goodwill
the parrot blouse
the mismatched skirt
after she disappeared into the ladies’ room
far too long
after she asked us how we liked
her hair—pink in front and held
up with a little plastic blossom
so it stood like a fountain
on top of her head the way she
wore it when she was four
after she called me “Mommy”
in that little-girl voice
I wanted to weep
for the boy sitting between us
—just old enough to understand—
who had looked forward with the pure
longing of a child
to this vacation.
After she said she had
only three dollars and
thirty-two cents to her name
and he pulled his spending money
from his back pocket
after he set it on her lap
after his mom gave him a kiss and he scooted away
after that we drove to the beach.
EVA-MARIA SHER's poetry has appeared in Big Scream, Cadillac Cicatrix, California Quarterly, Cape Rock, Dos Passos Review, Drunk Monkeys, Euphony, Forge, Front Range Review, GW Review, ken*again, Old Red Kimono, riverSedge, Rougarou, Ship of Fools, Soundings East, Vending Machine Press, Westview, and Willow Review.