The Stranger


My daughter worked for a Seattle rag.

“The Stranger,” it was called. One can still see them

all over town.  She designed the particulars

for the personals on the computer.


They paid lousy and she worked hard

with no relationship, allowed herself little

personal time, spent it linking other lonely

hearts.  She kept her big one to herself.


She came home to a simple room

with her possessions crammed in

her den.  She had to make it alone.

to survive on independence and wits,


had to fight to defeat predators

when she shared a bathroom with two

unknown men who wouldn’t keep piss

and spit off the floor.  They howled


and mark territory with drumming

and other primitive sounds that passed

for music. The landing smelt of urine

and gas- the dangerous kind.  She left.


Letting go is a hard step. She always

used her resources to take care of herself.

I told her our basement apartment is free.

So she considered moving in with us


and worked hard for the dream of

a better life,  Pride is a family trait.

Strangers have a high profile.

You can find them on any corner.


As for her, she has bought two

charcoal drawings from a  homeless

man on the street for seven dollars each.

I gave her money to buy another, make it


an artist’s three.  She had no wall

space but bought it anyway.

She put herself through advanced training,

found herself a good job in Denver,


friends,  is building a life, a career

visits us often,  remains our exceptional girl.

I would travel a thousand times around

the world to announce how proud of her I am.

~ by dianeklammer on May 13, 2013.

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