Single Mother by Pete Bogg

Single mother’s bastard spawn
Who never did his own laundry
Spoiled rotten little shit
Meek, overfed, wouldn’t amount to anything
I realize now
Single mother

Three years married, then divorced
Your husband caught fucking someone who serves
Drinks for a living

I realize now, single mother
But can you imagine?

A world so small
That all you know in it
Could fit in a footnote

That what you know to be true
Is, and that is all that matters

What you know to be true
Is what you do
And what you do is clean rooms for a living
Sweep up dust bunnies into neat little piles
And try to make sense of it

Since you were 16 years old
Segregate angels from dust bunnies

Can you imagine then
My mother who was a waitress
My father, a cook
Having met at a restaurant that has since been torn down
A link in a chain of events, disconnect
No longer exist
Like the dead man whose DNA and name
Alone I share

An only child, unholy union
Of line cook and staff
Imagine then, my surprise
My first time at a laundry mat
When I realized
Clean clothes didn’t just appear that way on their own

And wouldn’t you just guess it?
My first girl was a cocktail waitress
The extreme loneliness of a world
Without 24 hour light accosted me at age 24

It was nothing like Sin City
And something about the dial tone
Of a 2am train
On rails
Piping in through a broken window
When you’re home alone in bed

The rawness of that
Has its effect
Like foster child
Second class citizen love
Uncut, organic lamentation

The kind all the better heard
In alleyway acoustics

Not some great church


Pete Bogg is a husband, father of three young children, and full time bread winner. He currently resides in the great state of Colorado.