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Tammi Truax

Dinner Conversation with a Young Friend

It's Friday evening.

There’s no going back

until Monday morning.

We order tacos

and tasty drinks

and toast our time off.

But because

what we do

is who we are

our thoughts, our talk

drifts back to work.

Soon we compare

recent changes, ways in which

we might, maybe,

not die on the job.

Was it like this for the men

who built the first skyscrapers

tightroping high over honking cars?

Was it like this for miners

descending into the dark

breathing deep of death spores?

Did they gather together

after a long hard week

and discuss the efforts

made by their employers

to prevent their demise?

Maybe, maybe not.

We don’t know.

We’re just two women

who show up, every day

at an elementary school

and a Planned Parenthood office

smiling, behind glass

that may, or may not,

be bulletproof.

Tammi Truax, MEd, has worked as a teacher in a variety of settings from preschool to prison. She works daily as an elementary school librarian.
Her poetry has appeared in ten anthologies, including The Widows’ Handbook: Poetic Reflections on Grief and Survival with a foreword by Supreme Court Justice Ginsburg (Kent State University Press, 2014). A YA novel in verse, For to See the Elephant, (Piscataqua Press, 2019), was released in May and two volumes of poetry are forthcoming. Tammi recently signed with Oghma Creative Media for a two-book historical novel, the first due out in 2021. She is concurrently serving as the Maine Beat Poet Laureate and the Portsmouth (NH) Poet Laureate. More info can be found at

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