Adjunct Accidentally Invited to the Club

by Laura Grace Weldon

party sm
Air is soft here
fluffed silk against skin,
each seam lying just so.
Here the heft
of a Yale ring,
shoes that must be Italian,
a wristwatch pricier
than two years of her wages.

Frayed cuffs turned under
a decades-old shirt,
cheap even when new,
mark her a smiling interloper
though it seems
no one sees her at all.

Faces here are smooth,
postures casual,
mergers and acquisitions
mentioned lightly.
Laughter puddles
gem-like around conversations.
She imagines herself an anthropologist
coding this privileged tribe.

Under a lofty frescoed ceiling
wealthy mouths open
like everyone else’s,
although not as fiercely.
Barely touched trays of opulent food
swing back to the kitchen
in the arms of tuxedoed waiters.
She wants to hide those leftovers
in her cold car. Drive home.
Fill the refrigerator
in the house where she hopes
the roof stops leaking,
the jacket with a useless zipper
makes it through another winter.

She doesn’t. Smiles instead,
head tipped to the side, as if included
in a conversation on her right.
Visiting the bathroom before leaving,
one so deluxe it has an anteroom
with damask couches,
she slips a heavy bar of milled soap
into her purse. Its weight
a scant measure of how much
they’ve already taken.


Category: Poetry, SNHU Creative Writing, SNHU online creative writing