Later They'll Drag the Lake

                    after “Watching the Detectives”
 

chappy kicks up a dustcloud
arriving at lakeside lodge


the noise drags Pops from his cot
to the rustic moonlit office


sure we got a cabin left yessir.
(hands him a tarnished key)


morning’s a sullen glance
from hardboiled waitress


hair à la Veronica Lake
shading an eye of knowledge


Maybe it is Veronica—how’d
she wind up in this dump


he wants a big glass of milk
she wants to blow this popcorn stand


thought she’d line up some lout
smokes rolled in his sleeve


pay with bruises but so what
goodbye greasy plates, rayon uniforms


maybe this one will do—
look at his big milky smile


she pictures biffing off
in his yellow roadster


sees herself driving away
fast, top down, alone


she eyes him from
behind her pale, pale hair


her nailfile flickering
her indifference

McCollough author photo.jpg

Martha McCollough is a writer living in Amherst, Massachusetts. She has an MFA in painting from Pratt Institute. She is the author of Wolf Hat Iron Shoes (Lily Poetry Review Books, 2022) and the chapbook Grandmother Mountain (Blue Lyra, 2019). Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in The Bear Review, Tammy, Pangyrus, Barrelhouse, Crab Creek Review, and Qwerty, among others.