House of Blues | Susan Carman

Image: Drew Beamer

House of Blues

She eyes the tired roadhouse
tucked between junk yards filled
with car doors and still-good hubcaps,

hickory smoke heavy on night air,
rubbing against her like a cat.
Inside, past shadowy booths

grimy with time, guitars draw her in
with a walkin’ blues line,
shuffle through 12 bars like they mean it.

Ya feelin’ blue? the drummer growls,
and the crowd spills onto the dance floor
where she joins women with tight jeans

and tight smiles, moving alone, faces painted
hopeful. When the tune slows,
she takes the hand of a sad-eyed guy—

they slide and sway, his breath
on her neck a sweet refrain
in a song of love gone wrong.

Susan Carman is a Pushcart Prize nominee, and served as poetry editor for Kansas City Voices. Her poetry appeared most recently in I-70 Review, Heartland! Poetry of Love, Resistance &  Solidarity, and the anthologies Curating Home and The Shining Years. Retired from non-profit management, she lives in Overland Park, Kansas, where she is an ESL volunteer.

This poem is from South Broadway Press’ new anthology, 
Dwell: Poems About Home. Purchase here.

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