Poetry at the Filling Station

In my senior year at LSU, I wrote this poem while sitting in my bullet-proof cashier’s booth at the ECOL filling station on College Drive in Baton Rouge. We sold only fuel, engine oil, cigarettes, and lighters. I had the brutal 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. shift. When my roommate Colleen discovered the poem in my stuff (it was scribbled on the inside of a cigarette carton panel) she read it aloud at one of our infamous house parties on Iris Street (the house pictured). I was flattered that she, one of the strongest actresses on the LSU stage, liked it enough to do so. The inebriated audience that night seemed to like it as well. The title of the poem is at the end. That’s intentional (so don’t peek!).

I could not help 

But weep

The knife had gone in

So deep

Fatally posed

Curled up in a ball

You fumed up at me

As more tears did fall

So poignant were 

Your powers within

Releasing themselves

Through the cuts 

In your skin

Your essence

Overwhelming and tart

In my sobs 

You found revenge

Of sort

On the table you lay there

Minced and dying

As I stood above you

A murder


Ode to a Dying Onion 


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