This poem won first place at the Langley Poetry Slam!

glass of water4

Harriet, the lonely glass of water,
sweats as she rests on her coaster,
recently rehoused
after leaving a ring of wet
upon a love letter
written on lavender paper
smelling of lilacs.
Her mother, Natasha, was a martini glass,
much more elegant in stature,
and versatile:
her mother help olives, gin
and vermouth, she holds
only water.
Her cousin, Denise, the champagne flute,
stands glib on the shelf and snickers.
“Aw, shucks, Harriet, you’re never going
to amount to anything, I swear.
A glass for water? You might as well
be a receptacle for phlegm. You’ll never
hold primo beverages like bubbly.
You’ll never be like me!”
Harriet has grown wary of Denise,
wary of all the fancier vessels:
sugar bowls, decanters, even the china gravy boat.
They all have names and higher purposes.
She begins to doubt her abilities.

Harriet has a fantastic dream:
to be on Broadway.
Well, not on Broadway,
but in a Broadway dressing room
or chartreuse green room,
in the hands of an actress
playing Blanche DuBois or Lady MacBeth.
An actress with a long hyphenated last name,
one who gets massages every week
before the Wednesday matinee.
There, backstage, Harriet might have
a chance to be mistaken for a tumbler
and hold ice and whiskey.
How delicious it would feel
to have that cool brown
liquid pour down her sides.
Being raised to the actress’s lips,
she would savor the imprint
of her red lipstick
as the feral cats dumpster dove
outside in the alley.

Harriet sighs.
“Someday,” she hopes,
squinting to see pictures
on the website I am editing.

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