Not like the shiny
steel of my childhood:
Olga’s, the Diamond and Parkway
where my mother held forth
nights over steaming coffee
with the mothers of  my friends
on our A’s, B’s, and C’s, and
teachers and sports and Husbands
were probably discussed.

Run by Greeks
who left old islands heavy with history
surrounded by waters of turquoise
and arrived in a state of industry
finding mothers and fathers and
the hung-over who needed
refuge from a turnpike
cold with black ice or
air thick with mugginess.
So, they might have agreed to go
from Bridge to Cape, Shore
to Pocanoe, Exits 18W to 1
with menus stuffed
three and five egg omelets, greasy
plates of potato hash or toast of rye,
and thin coffee in thick porcelain mugs

Well, come, diner.
Arizona is now home.
I arrived
finding pink-tinged
people, strip malls, and cars
radiating in white heat
and my family ate first
at a Taco Bell.


 

Maren Mahoney was born in the City, raised near the Turnpike, and currently lives in the Desert with her boyfriend Eric and her dog, Mr. Bunny. Some members of her family live nearby, and some do not.

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