"The Replacement" by Tania Rochelle


For months I’ve imagined brass
and polish, sharp edges–
a food critic, maybe,
or a stripper-someone
agnostic enough to tolerate
an indifferent lover, reluctant
father, petulant payer of bills;
and all that time, she’s just
got to get to class.
Ten years younger, she shakes
her long brown hair
from her clueless face,
asks if I want my husband back.
She tells me she wouldn’t compete,
as if it were a gift,
more lead crystal
to leach slow poison
into my daily cocktail.
So fresh I could bite her,
this girl, twenty-one, still
smelling of grass and Kool-Aid,
is asking permission.
But I’m not her mother–
to care if she runs
with a pencil in one hand,
a fork in the other.
Let her keep her prize:
his glass-green eyes,
a gold-plated tongue
that ferrets out soft spots
where promises grow
wild as ivy, as fire
through parchment.
Searching her flat baby-blues
for ripples, the slight wave
that might suggest she stands a chance,
I see only a plain beauty,
hands in her pockets.

Tania Rochelle, Karaoke Funeral


One response to “"The Replacement" by Tania Rochelle

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