Doug Lane


Most of my life
I've been broke as a joke.
But right now,
through some miracle
or grotesque accident,
even though this is a pandemic
and the economy is a wreck,
I have enough.

I know many of my fellow Americans
are in deep financial shit
and the Mitch the Bitch
controlled Senate
is doing nothing to help them,
is just trying to find ways
to shift more money to the rich.
It breaks my heart.

Of course I give money
to every beggar that asks.
But I guess if I were a really decent guy
I'd go into the poorer neighborhoods
and distribute what money I have
to the needy.Instead, I'm sending it
to the Democrats, to the Never Again Trumpers,
the Never Again Mitch the Bitchers.

And then there's my former cleaning lady,
Maria, a very good person
and one of LA's worse cleaners,
who used to break something or other
almost every time she cleaned my house,
which was a long time......28 years.

All my other friends who hired her
fired her fast......she was that bad.
But she was willing to patiently work around
all the messes in my house,
and she was honest,
and she was raising a son,
so I kept her on,
and paid her much more than the going rate,
and sympathetically listened to all her troubles,
and always gave her son Christmas and birthday gifts
and gave her fat Christmas bonuses, too.

Then the landlords shoved me out of my rented house,
and I had to move far away, to Playa Del Rey.
Quite a trauma.
I visited Maria at her place
a couple months after the move
and tried to explain
that I now lived too far away
for her to keep cleaning my new crib.
She just cried and said I had
kicked her to the curb after 28 years.
I gave her a check and she tore it up.
I told her not to be stupid,
that she needed that money.
But I guess she felt
she had her pride.
And maybe she didn't need that money
as much as I thought she did.
She could afford
to take a stand.
She needed to see me
as the villain of the piece,
and I wasn't going to stoop
to try to convince her otherwise.
Her tearing up the check
was an insult
and made it hard
for me to keep sending her money
as I had intended to do.

After 30 years of housecleaning
in LA, she should have built up quite a clientele by now.
But she hasn't, for obvious reasons.
For 28 years I overpaid her,
didn't give her a hard time about all the things she broke,
patiently listened to her personal problems,
didn't gripe because she would never clean windows,
looked the other way at her ineptitude,
but it wasn't enough.

The only way
I wasn't going to be a villain
in her life
was if I NEVER let her go,
if I employed her
or till I died,
whichever came first.

I'm learning to live with the guilt

Topic(s) of this poem: guilt

Poem Submitted: Saturday, August 15, 2020
Poem Edited: Saturday, August 15, 2020

Form: Narrative

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Comments about Ruthless by Doug Lane

  • Lodigiana PoetessLodigiana Poetess (8/16/2020 12:26:00 PM)

    No need to feel did well by her! Love the storytelling here..held my attention to the last..Good job my friend Lodigiana x

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