a la carte

She wears a bathrobe with
The name 'Hotel St Pierre'
In embroidered writing
Across the back
She flicks out her cigarette
In the ashtray 'St Moritz'
Her hair wrapped in
A fluffy white towel
Which she nicked from the 'Ritz'

And the mini bar is always filled
With miniatures and peanuts
Dry roasted
And when she travels,
She travels light
Returning with her,
Little souvenirs
Just memories of time spent
In other rooms, all en suite

A shoe shine, a trouser press
That pretty print of summer's rose
Bars of soap, a shower cap
That come in handy plastic packs
The table lamp
And bedside bible
She's never read
Alone in bed.

The crested dishes on her shelves
Of secret meals spent a la carte
'Do not disturb' hangs on her door
As unwanted bills float to the floor
She'll sit and smile
And plan a trip
So many treasures
To fill the gap.

Poetry by Elle The PoetBay support member heart!
Read 311 times
Written on 2013-03-14 at 20:14

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Elle The PoetBay support member heart!
I wish we could post a picture in comments Jim, your reply has so made me laugh, I have a mental picture of her :-)

Lawrence Beck The PoetBay support member heart!
Beautifully done, Elle. Mind the gap.

I had to add this, the image has stuck with me, of the first four lines: I imagined her as a boxer, they way they wear robes before a fight with their names across the back. I imagined her in her room fists up, shadow boxing, punching air, wearing the robe, getting ready for a fight.

I love your character sketches, Elle, they are so well written, so enjoyable, so pointed.

StillHoppin The PoetBay support member heart!
Well, I was with her till I found out she stole a lamp and a Bible, that's going a bit far :) but as for the little trinkets and keepsakes, I think the hotels pretty well expect them to be used or taken. I like that the last line fills you in on something else about her character - that she's attempting to fill some kind of gap with all these trips and treasures - and from the size of her collection, it's one heck of a black hole. You may be detesting her for what she does, or cheering her on, but with the last line, that turns to empathy or even downright pity. The overall picture is well-painted, engaging, creative and (at least in me) it evokes a sense of emptiness. Write on!!

I used to 'nick' ashtrays and coffee cups, little souvenirs for people who used to think that what I did, the places I was always going, made me adventurous and romantic and "worldly," a view I encouraged of course. But your lady goes much deeper and darker, and sadder it seems. What happened in all those rooms we are left to contemplate, though there is the feeling that the souvenirs she left with do not fill the emptiness and despair of having been there.