Napo 21

I gotta say, I've been really enjoying this Napowrimo daily writing thing. The prompts have been pushing me beyond my comfort zone. Having to write daily has helped me to let go of the idea of a perfect poem, too. I've enjoyed making these messy poems. Come May, I'll enjoy cleaning them up.

Which brings me to my NAPO 21!
Today's prompt was to write a poem inspired by something you overheard. Well, yesterday, a certain professor was enjoying a snack in the classroom, and he left his trash behind. Que cochino! My friend remarked as we were all leaving, and pointed to the mess.
Que cochino indeed.
It made me think about the kind of guts it takes to leave a mess, expecting someone else to clean it up.
And maybe we do that, collectively, on a larger scale, too.

Napowrimo Poem 21
Cochino, the busboy whispers
Under his breath as he clears the table.
The beer glasses emptied, the food devoured,
The plates all smudged and stained, what else
Remains but the task of setting right
This chaos, this mess someone careless
Ordered with the flick of a finger,
Enjoyed with the smacking of lips,
Created with the thoughtlessness
Of hunger? But for every stain,
A hand must sweep in, dangling a rag
To wipe away the rubicund.
For every empty martini glass with lipstick stains,
someone scrubs the rose away
with suds and mercy for the sloppiness.
For every bomb of chicken bones
Dropped onto the plate,
someone clears away the debris,
throws it out into the oblivion
of a dumpster out back so we can all forget.
For every napkin crumpled and strewn
like rubble across the table’s battlefield,
someone clears it all away
for one more skirmish
in this eternal war of hunger.
Bien cochino, all of us, to forget
about the trash we leave behind.
Create chaos. Pay the tab. Leave.
As if the world owed us this privilege
of a nameless pair of arms to clear it all away.
Que cochino to think a tip
slipped under the check
is enough to wash you clean.