Roadie Poet: Stranger


Got home just now.
The start of a month off the road.
I need sleep
Clean clothes
Good food.

In that order.

My key fits in the lock.
Everything inside looks the same:
Shelf for mail
The dent in the bannister from when I kicked it with a steel-toed boot.

Don’t ask.

In the living room
In front of the TV
In the recliner I bought Mom with my first tour’s pay

Isn’t Mom.
It’s some guy.
In blue plaid flannel pants.
Black socks.
Brown slippers with no backs.
Not a lot of hair.

I look into the kitchen.
There’s Mom’s cookbooks
Mom’s pots
Mom’s teapot.
No Mom.

Just this guy.

“Hey,” he says to me.
“You must be RP.”

“Who’re you?” I say to him.
“Does Mom know you’re here?”

He laughs.
Stands up.
Shoves his hand at me.

I stare at it.

Mom shows up then.
Dressed in a flimsy robe.
Surprised to see me.
Her second kid.

Like I’m forgettable.

She gives me food.
Takes my laundry.
Sends me to bed.

In that order.
I don’t complain.
I needed all three.
Especially sleep.

I’m awake.
Never thought I’d need earplugs at home.

I can find
A tour
That’ll keep me busy
For a month.

I don’t really need
Or clothes.
In any order.

Aww, man! Poor RP; his mom’s got a boyfriend! There’s more to this saga, so stay tuned. In the meantime, why not check out other friends who’ve done some Sunday Scribblings?



  1. anthonynorth

    November 15, 2008 10:56 am

    Well, it happens. Strange how we don’t grant people 20 years older than us a life.

  2. gautami tripathy

    November 15, 2008 11:52 am

    Roadie poet knows what he wants! Good for him!BR/BR/A HREF=”” REL=”nofollow”distractingly disjointed/A

  3. Celticangel

    November 15, 2008 11:59 am

    *hugs Roadie Poet*

  4. B. Roan

    November 15, 2008 12:23 pm

    Maybe his mom will have dumped the boyfriend by the time he gets back from his next month-long gig.

  5. ~*sis*~

    November 15, 2008 12:28 pm

    loved this…hope rp’s boyfriend treats her well!! 🙂

  6. Thomma Lyn

    November 15, 2008 1:39 pm

    I love RP’s voice. And this poem made me want to give him a hug. 🙂

  7. SmallWorld at Home

    November 15, 2008 1:48 pm

    Love the forgettable part.

  8. "Sunshine"

    November 15, 2008 2:05 pm

    Sad but true, your prose-poem captures a very realistic situation. Not that there’s anything wrong with RP’s mom getting a boyfriend, but it’s sad that RP loses his postion as “welcome son” for his new position as “guest.”

  9. Shelley Munro

    November 15, 2008 4:16 pm

    LOL Go, Mom!BR/I loved the poem. RP’s voice came through so well.

  10. bunnygirl

    November 15, 2008 4:45 pm

    Poor RP. Kudos to mom, but she should’ve let her kid know.

  11. Robin

    November 15, 2008 5:32 pm

    Poor guy. Finding out a stranger has taken up residence in your home and in your life is bad enough, but to have to *hear* them too, well that’s excruciating.

  12. Lilly

    November 15, 2008 7:05 pm

    don’t ask? but I want to know! Great piece!

  13. Linda Jacobs

    November 15, 2008 7:05 pm

    You are so good at bringing a young person to life!

  14. Stan Ski

    November 15, 2008 7:11 pm

    Do as I say, not as I do? Now how many kids ever listened to that one?

  15. Koe Whitton-Williams

    November 15, 2008 10:00 pm

    I loved it. Especially how Mom gave RP everything he wanted. . . in exactly the order he did not want it:BR/”She gives me food.BR/Takes my laundry.BR/Sends me to bed. BR/BR/In that order.”

  16. tumblewords

    November 15, 2008 11:55 pm

    Hmm. I’m thinking things’ll change soon. Nice work!

  17. Mary

    November 16, 2008 2:12 pm

    Good for Mom that RP needed earplugs! I love the poetry voice.

  18. shaunesay

    November 16, 2008 7:38 pm

    Aw, poor RP, nothing worse than looking forward to something familiar and getting a weird surprise! lol! *hugs to RP* even if it is good for Mom!

  19. Angel

    November 16, 2008 10:03 pm

    Very cute. Would be kinda embarrassing though.

  20. Rambler

    November 17, 2008 5:14 am

    I tried hard to find the significance of the “order”, and the repeated use of the line “in that order”, I am sure I must be missing something really good

  21. SweetTalkingGuy

    November 17, 2008 6:46 am

    Don’t you just hate strangers? I don’t know which of your characters was the most embarrassed – you handled the writing of this well!

  22. Alice Audrey

    November 17, 2008 11:51 am

    Awww, poor roadie.

  23. Julia Smith

    November 17, 2008 1:01 pm

    The return of Roadie Poet! I missed you.BR/BR/I do think it’s funny that RP has been used to dropping in and out of his mom’s life, not expecting her to do any living while he’s gone. I agree with Anthony North!

  24. Rinkl Rimes

    November 17, 2008 9:51 pm

    It’s been a spooky little thing at the back of my mind all my life….that I’ll walk into a familiar room and see a stranger sitting waiting.

  25. susiej

    November 17, 2008 10:29 pm

    Earplugs!! What a hoot! Funny, how kids always need their parents to stay the same.

  26. Marcia

    November 20, 2008 2:13 pm

    My favorite Roadie Poet poem, very favorite. Poor thing, but.

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