Sunday 24 May 2020

Homeless Shelter Lamentation 

by D.C. Buschmann

You come to me drunk,
expect me to pretend
I like your drunk self.
I don’t

know how to pretend
you aren’t drunk,
that you don’t remember
what I just told you
five minutes ago,

that you don’t repeat
what you just said
four or five times.

I don’t know how to
pretend I don’t notice
your alternate personality
IQ’s 80 points lower.

You say I’m to blame.
I tear into you 
when you’re the one

I don’t know how to 
pretend I don’t notice
you’ve gone into a rage
because I’m watching
a show you don’t like.
Why not just ask me
to turn it?

You expect me to pretend
I don’t have a threshold
and this isn’t beyond it.

You expect me to pretend
with you 
that you don’t drink.

You expect me to pretend
I like you drunk.
I don’t.

* * * * *

D.C. Buschmann is a retired editor and reading specialist. She was a finalist in the 2018 Poetry Society of Indiana’s Ogdon Award. Her poem, “Death Comes for a Friend,” was the Editor’s Choice in Poetry Quarterly, Winter 2018. In 2016, she was a finalist in the Alex Albright Creative Nonfiction Prize contest and the Pride in Poetry Prize contest. She has been published in literary magazines in the US, the UK, Australia, Iraq, and India. She lives in Carmel, Indiana, with husband Nick and miniature schnauzers Cupcake and Coco. Her first full collection of poetry will be published in 2020.


  1. A sickness that untreated hurts everyone except the divorce lawyer and the mortician.