Lois Marie Harrod

Stuck in an Elevator with Medea

You smile because you remember the rain
falls on the just and the unjust,

but you remember the warning
you forgot a floor and a half ago:

never get on an elevator
with someone you don’t trust.

You should have backed out,
feigned a heart attack, a stomach ache.

Now you’re stuck with the woman
whom you all hate, the one who stirs

your after-office drinks–her lies,
her slights, her cleavaged machinations.

How many times has she told you about that diet
of hers? Just a soak in a hot tub

and a day later you’ll come out
svelte enough to wear a size 2 bikini.

Now she’s saying it works too
in this boiling elevator,

and you know if you get out alive
she will tell everyone

that you jiggled the lift to pieces
and that she was the one that figured out

how to phone the desk
and that cute little guy Jason

will rescue her first and then complain
how much trouble he had heaving you out.

Lois Marie Harrod eighth book Firmament was just published by Finishing Line Press. He wry narratives of suburban life were published in Put Your Sorry Side Out by Concrete Wolf in 2005. Through its poems, Spelling the World Backwards (Palanquin Press, University of South Carolina Aiken, 2000) tells the story of a family facing a father’s Alzheimer’s disease. Earlier books include This Is a Story You Already Know, a collection of poems resulting from her twenty-two years teaching high school English and Part of the Deeper Sea, which contains many poems that use natural history as metaphor. In addition to her eight books, over 300 of her poems have appeared in literary journals, magazines and anthologies.