Mama Rosa’s, Minneapolis, 1968
Her uniform a black polyester mini-jumper over
a white woven blouse, the ruffled cuffs blotched
with tomato sauce night after night, bleached
and dry in time for her to cross the driveway
to work, to serve baked rigatoni while Hey Jude
played over and over, the customers singing
Take a sad song and make it better.
Singing to soothe the anomie, eating to forget
the lust and the lost, those dropping in Viet Nam,
dropping out of school, dropping their vows.
Nah nah nah nah nananah Fashioning a new life,
she learned to balance three plates at a time
one each on hip, forearm and open palm.
A relief to tune out the turmoil, to serve the singing
regulars, wipe down the table for the next.
Let it out and let it in, hey Jude, begin.
Nice job evoking a mood and setting a scene. Love it!
Wonderful Linda! So descriptive and powerful
love the way you wove the lyrics into Mama Rosa’s story
I’m right back there in 1968, playing that song over and over.
What a wonderful snapshot of a moment in time! Love the determined Mama Rosa and the customers singing to Hey Jude! You put us right into that diner, bring back the turmoil of the Vietnam War and then serve us some rigatoni to soothe our souls. Love it!
Yes. It was good, now it’s better.
Love it, Linda!
Long lines and sentences that build really work in this poem.