The braille could have stopped me,
but I wasn’t blind, the door looked the same
and swung the same, and all I knew
was the aching of a begging bladder.
In and looking for the porcelain box
but instead saw stalls in rows like headstones.
And saw no pee spots or splatters on linoleum
just places to sit —
I stood, with the door open;
midstream, a shrill scream:
“Kiddo, you can’t do that here.
xxxThis is the ladies room!”
I flexed my abdomen
to make nature hurry
causing the arching stream
to stray wild and awry.
I washed my hands;
no forgiveness was found
in their frowns.
While drying I saw the machine,
the wall-hung candy dispenser.
I walked towards it,
to see the flavors.
“No. That’s not for you.
xxxYou’ll find out one day.”
Being little, how little I knew
how lucky I was, not yet a