You could always count us on one hand.
As usual I dressed with care,
saved two seats per high command,
my coat and pocketbook in their chairs.
The back room was small,
piped in music set-up for exactly forty people—
four rows of black linens, tables sat cheek by jowl.
Those used to privilege complained steadily, bitterly.
Tinny taps on water glasses to quiet the din.
Perfumes, colognes cloyed the night
as the lecturer went on too long, again.
When he finally came to an end,
I craned my neck, but no I hadn’t missed anybody—
only us three blacks in the room of forty.
About the author:
Edith McGowan’s work has been published in U.S. 1 Newspaper Summer Fiction Issue three times and U.S. 1 Worksheets 2018. She attends several poetry workshops. Edith is retired and lives in Princeton Junction, NJ