ships that pass in the night
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Officer Friendly by Donal Mahoney.



Whenever Lolly stops me

on my midnight rounds

just to chat about the night


I shine my flashlight in her eyes

and whisper low so the other

working girls can't hear me,


"Lolly, it's your intelligence

and taste I find so appealing.

I appreciate that upper lip


you've lit up in neon red

so artfully with lipstick."

We talk about mortgages and kids


whether hers are back in school,

whether mine are still in college,

whether my brother ever sends a check.


When finally I say I have to go,

she giggles like Monroe, gets all

blonde and bouncy, saucy to a fault,


waves good-bye with a grand sashay,

thrilled again to be on her way, pleased

that once again I won't take her in.



a line, (a blue one)


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