Making Daisy Chains
Become a bartender
Name a cocktail after a childhood memory
Choose a memory in which you thought you’d grow up to be something different
Better yet, pick one in which you weren’t thinking about growing up at all
Remember sitting in your front yard with nothing to do but pick dandelions
Tie the head of one dandelion to the stem of the next
Go on and on and on until you’ve made yourself a crown of weeds
Know that you can make beautiful things out of whatever grows beneath you
Mix two parts prosecco with one part St. Germain
Top with house hibiscus shrub for color
Garnish with an edible flower
Wonder if it’s sad or beautiful that after all these years, you still spend your days making daisy chains.
Ode to the Service Industry
(maybe the customer has never been, right?)
the woman who looked like she could be my friend
told me I was a bitch
(because the price of our kids' chicken tenders was too high)
Two sweet teas quivered between us
as I gave one more apology,
(not mine to give)
i hope she really hated something about my face,
about my nervous freckles,
about the silent wad of fuck-yous
crammed into my back pocket
like straw wrappers.
I hope that your chicken-tender-eating son, ma’am,
never learns to speak to women
the way you just spoke to me.
the summer i was your counselor
at that all-girls camp
we did a foot washing at the lake
to show you what Jesus did for his disciples.
your toenails were caked with mud
and i knelt in algae.
candlewax dripped in the sand,
everything rotting and melting
in a good way, becoming silt,
and i stopped believing
in the god they taught us about
when i kissed the bottom of your foot
and realized that there was no brimstone
or pearly gate
only foot skin against lip skin
only what happened between us women
when we stopped hiding our dirty toes
when we stopped hiding from each other
About Mara Erdman
Mara Erdman is an Asheville, NC native and current MFA candidate at Queens University of Charlotte.