Serving House: A Journal of Literary Arts
  • Home
  • About
  • Archive
  • Bio Notes
  • Bookshelf
  • Contents
  • Submit
SHJ Issue 14
Spring 2016

Polite Salutation

by Ruth Lehrer

I’m trying to be subtle about it
but there’s no good way to be subtle 
about being subtle—I have to come out 
and say it without the subtle even though she will
fault me for it and maybe even rough me up which
is definitely not subtle and maybe even crude

Trying for something more three dimensional 
like egg jellies at the diner that don’t open up
and fight you and always end up grape
Sometimes you have to distract yourself 

I never met a steamer ship at the dock
but I know you would wave your silk scarf
or your little black hat with the veil
like a token of understanding
that you left 
and came back.


—From the collaborative chapbook Addressing the Blue Dog (Factory Hollow Press, 2014); republished here by author’s permission

SHJ Issue 14
Spring 2016

Ruth Lehrer

is a writer and sign-language interpreter living in western Massachusetts. Her writing has been published in journals such as Jubilat, DecomP, and Trivia: Voices of Feminism. Her poetry chapbook Tiger Laughs When You Push was just released by Headmistress Press.

“...we have been born here to witness and celebrate. We wonder at our purpose for living. Our purpose
is to perceive the fantastic. Why have a universe if there is no audience?” — Ray Bradbury