Monday, April 04, 2011

Night Clerk (Prompt:Poem about a Type of Person)

Dale always worked
the Wednesday night shift
at the Gold Star Motor Lodge
off the freeway
close to her house.

He was old enough
to comb his hair into
a perfect Brylcreem part,
and he wore
an anachronistic red bow tie.

He looked as kind as a pastor
and as conservative
as an accountant.

Every Wednesday at 6pm
I’d check in
and there was Dale,

“Good evening, Mr. Moskowitz.
You need a single?”

I’d nod, trying not to be embarrassed.

He’d run my credit card.
I’d pretend to check my phone,
and avoid eye contact
if there were
other waiting for their rooms.

Handing me the key
he’d direct me to my room,
even though it was
the same one
I rented every Wednesday.

At 9pm
when she had to go back to her family,
I’d walk her back to her car and then
swing by the office to turn in my key,
love-tipsy and swaggering.

Dale would look up from his
crossword puzzle, smiling
like this was the first time.

“Checking out, sir?”
Again, I nodded.

“Well, we hope you’ll come back
and stay with us again.”

Friendly, but not familiar.

He must’ve seen my kind
a hundred times a month,

but he had enough
discretion and honor
for the two of us,

which was perfect
seeing as I had none myself.


  1. wow, man! this is novella worthy!

  2. Buddah, Buddah...I can't figure out how to get in touch with you re PAD, recorded poetry, etc. Please holler. Cheers.

    Pamela Murray Winters (Pam)

  3. @Pam - I can be reached at

    What's your contact info?

  4. Anonymous7:54 PM

    Congratulations on having this poem selected to be on Poetic Asides "Top 50" for the April 2011 Poem-a-Day Challenge! Well-deserved, Mosk!! :)