Lingua Franca

Dawn Potter
| poetry


the washing-machine repairman asks

if I’ve saddled my sons with biblical names

on purpose the plumber presses me to admire

his sculptures the electrician wonders

if I have skills in patent law the driver

of the propane truck desires geographical

wisdom the contractor inquires about the fashions

of poetry the plow guy wonders if I know

where he can buy a bag of pot

the blacksmith suggests I should join the Party

of Decency the cheerleader

is desperate for good news

my father wonders why atonal music even exists

my husband has given up believing

that I will ever get a job the old lady

shrieks, “Why are you all so mean?” a child asks,

“Does the chicken like to be eaten?”

the monster creeps between his unwashed sheets

the wrestler demands his ransom money back

the vision wishes it were God the wind

never stops whispering


Dawn Potter directs the Frost Place Conference on Poetry and Teaching. Her most recent poetry collection is Same Old Story (CavanKerry Press, 2014).

Where Will the Barn Swallows Go?