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  • Writer's pictureAnne Mitchell

On the Occasion of my First Poetry Reading

A 100-year-old hotel, glows mauve, sunset bounces light up from

Carmel beach-a W.P.A. mural greets me, Austrian coats of arms,

Dirndls and Lederhosen, some edelweiss-past the kidney shaped

pool, rec. room, round tables and Captain's chairs heavy in green leather,

cracked, brass-buttoned. A cheese platter, mystery dip, a bowl of steamed prawns

offer themselves up with cocktail sauce-I grab a water cracker, one

shrimp to calm my nervous gut and wrap the tail in the pale pink beverage

napkin-clench it, charm, talisman, or mostly because there’s no trash can.

I’m staged on a folding chair as a Professor Emeritus reads

his A to Z Bestiary poems-feeling ignorant I choke-hold

the napkin, I am next, soon I've lost count of my poems, applause

for “Zombie Cicadas”-keep reading? A glance to MC for a cue.

Popping pink on plaid carpet is the napkin ball center stage. The shrimp

tail escaped my grip like a vaudeville hook from behind the red curtain.


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