(Self) Portrait of a Waitress

Jumbo Jet
they called her –
fast on her feet,
zooming in,
swooping up trays,
delivering with flight
attendant flair.

When did she turn
to autopilot,
stop paying attention
to her destination?

Didn’t she know
she was set
on a crash course,
headed for disaster?

Tried to warn her,
wake her from stupor;
told me she’d reset,
but danger remains.

She is cruising now –
no longer able
to soar – trapped
in a treacherous game.

Waits tables,
tries to keep
a clean house,
caters to others,
lends an ear,
has squeezed
every drop of self
into a low flying life

needs to land
a space of her own,
with room to breathe;
take life in shorter
intervals, refill
her jets.

(Portrait of a Waitress first appeared in April of 2016.   I am re-introducing it here for Ragtag Community’s prompt: jet.)



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Permission to write, paint, and imagine are the gifts I gave myself when chronic illness hit - a fair exchange: being for doing. Relevance is an attitude. Humour essential.

34 thoughts on “(Self) Portrait of a Waitress”

  1. You know, this is so GOOD–too many women (and some men, I guess) get caught in the trap…it’s one of the things about the Church that distresses me greatly, those who preach servant-hood in the extreme, till we dissolve all of “self”. I’ve recently bailed on a friendship which felt, even long-distance, like I was drained dry.

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      1. Yep, I’ve read the books–even bought a new one last year…haven’t cracked it yet…feels like math or a foreign language for some reason 🙂 Also, there seem to be differing opinions on some points–and if I’m confused, I don’t get much farther in absorbing the lesson.

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      2. When I get a free moment, I’d like to ask you about something specific on this topic, just to get your viewpoint, take on it–if that’s okay.

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      3. Re the whole boundaries deal, the point I’m stuck on–where people differ widely–is this: when we cause offense to someone, hurt their feelings, I was brought up to believe that it was my responsibility to apologize, “make up” in some way. However, many “boundaries experts” including Christian preachers/psychologists are now saying WE are not responsible for how others respond to us–that it’s their problem if they’re offended, get their feelings hurt–not ours. Could you weigh in on this? 🙂


      4. Oh, this is so difficult. I confronted my mother once about the fact that she struggles with celebrating my birthday, while always making a point of reminding me about my five siblings’ birthdays. She was hurt and didn’t talk to me for a week. When I told my psychologist that I had hurt my mother, his response was: “aren’t you powerful?” That took me aback, and then I realized, he is right. I don’t have the power to make anyone feel anything. As for my mom, I have stop expecting anything from her.


      5. Okay, thanks for sharing this with me 🙂 I do know that it’s futile to have expectations of people…and yet I still do…though, hopefully I’m paring them down 🙂

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      6. May be one of those deals I can’t resolve yet for myself. While I don’t want to have to feel responsible for everyone’s feelings–which is what I learned from the cradle–I don’t want to be insensitive to others, self-centered. It’s a muddle still, but it’s nice to be able to discuss with someone 🙂

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