Poetry by Elena Lee
“You ordered the mashed potatoes with
roast beef, didn’t you?” says the waiter, and
you don’t dare tell him
you wanted the hummus plate
and besides, you’re vegetarian–or would be
|if you could convince your mother that
you’re the type of person who could survive
on plants. And you wish you had a
green thumb, but last time you checked
it was bony and leafless. But now you’ll
coax it to hug the
stern steel fork tightly to your palm and
airlift helpless mashed potato flecks
to your lips. You’ll watch the
bloody runny smoky
beef juice unfurl greedy tendrils
through that clean
Like an oil spill on a beach, tar insinuates itself
into cream and won’t let go. No concept of personal space.
And you wonder where it learned manners,
why it never learned manners. And suddenly
you have the urge to tell the waiter,
“No, I ordered clouds–cirrus clouds,
to be exact,
with a side of fog and one of those
crepuscular rays that peek through.
The ones that tell you the sun hasn’t forgotten
it was supposed to stop by for supper.”
And maybe he’d take down your order,
apologize profusely for the delay,
and put your meal on the house.
He’d say, “I’m sorry, I didn’t know
I was talking to
the queen of the sky.”
But really, he seems busy and
anyway, you’ll put your food in
a white plastic takeout box
ask for the check
and explain that you weren’t really that hungry.
Elena Lee is a junior at Lake Oswego High School in Lake Oswego, Oregon. She was a winner in both the Blue Mountain Arts Poetry Contest and the Just Poetry competition and also received a Silver Key and an Honorable Mention from the Scholastic Art and Writing awards. Additionally, she has published work in Rare Byrd Review. Most of the time, she finds inspiration in everyday occurrences and random bits of conversation. When she is not writing poetry, she enjoys reading, hiking, and spending time with friends.