Lorraine by Robert Cooperman


Jesus, the last thing I needed
was for Lenny’s female friend
to snuff it in my house.
I told Ma Crystal had refused
to take her insulin: the results,
predictable as a fixed race.

She overdosed on smack,
her and Lenny shooting up
like it was flu vaccine,
and him too freaking cheap
to share with his own mother,
the grandma of Crystal’s baby,
that got flushed inside her,
when she did the spastic chicken.

I told Ma the cops gave her
the all-clear for hard drugs.
I also told her the kid’s Ma—
herself so deep into smack
she doesn’t know, or care,
that her only daughter’s dead,
and I hope she buys it too
before she comes up for air—
made a stink but the cops
called it “a form of suicide.”

I just buried her in the woods
late at night, Lenny bawling
like the brat he always was
when he’d make a racket
while I was trying to entertain.

“Man up!” I tossed him the shovel:
least he could do, for causing
this whole mess.

Robert Cooperman is a graduate of the Ph.D. Program in Creative Writing from the University of Denver. In the Colorado Gold Fever Mountains (Western Reflections Books) won the Colorado Book Award for Poetry in 2000. The Widow’s Burden (Western Reflections Books) was runner-up for the WILLA Awards from Women Writing the West.  Just Drive (Brick Road Poetry Press) and Robert Cooperman’s latest collection is DRAFT BOARD BLUES (FutureCycle Press). Forthcoming from Main Street Rag is THAT SUMMER. My Shtetl won the Logan House Award in 2012. His work has appeared in the Sewanee Review, Mississippi Review, and North American Review. Cooperman lives in Denver with his wife Beth.

One Reply to “Lorraine by Robert Cooperman”

Leave a Reply to VINCENT ZEPPCancel reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.