Susan C-F2RWB writer Susan Chase-Foster has a knack for poetry. Saturday at happy hour, she gave us a reading of two new pieces dedicated to two special women. The first is for her daughter, a newly graduated surgeon. The second is a tribute to Laura Kalpakian’s fun story, El Rancho Stucco.




Doc Talk

By Susan Chase-Foster

I adore
standing next to my daughter
and her friends
at parties,
her arm around me,
I listen to the fluency
of their doc talk,
a language steeped
in the –ectomies and –ostomies.
-plasties and -otomies
of Classical Greek,
and the ultra-modern-
“I totally heart minimally invasive surgery!”
“Oh my God, I am so done with robots!
That DaVinci sucked!”
as they quaff
goblets of blood
-colored cab sav,
their mouths already full of fat
white asparagus
marinated in sherry
one shares,
remind her of the colon
she resected
just that afternoon
on zero sleep.


From Laura Kalpakian’s El Rancho Stucco, Part 1

Rendered and Arranged by Susan Chase-Foster

tumbleweeds struggling
against a chain link fence,
the locked gate,
the rumble
of deep male voices,
weather-beaten Bad Guys
Pancho and the Cisco Kid,
and ill-tempered goats,
the final retreat.

¡O Pancho! ¡O Ceesco!
I am so hongry!
not lust,
kiss a señorita, but
certainly not lust!

¡Pancho, Pancho
Macho Muchacho!
Lovely women teaching
secrets of Cocina Mexicana,
the teasing slap that transforms time,
oozing slowly,
a lone guitar in the distance,
all life seems a dream.

Death against El Cid?
Preposterous as a gold gringo
on a long chain.
Time keeps itself,
the grandfather said,
and the motorcar?

A betting frenzy ensued,
poor bet two bits,
rich bet land, cattle and gold,
mares, heifers and sheep,
a deafening cacophony
beset by mal sueños,
the silence,
the void,
the afternoon heat,
the weight of hundreds,
the feet of thousands,
guilded dust motes
in the sunshine.

¡Macho Muchacho!
!Macho Muchacho!
Flowers before him,
a blue silk handkerchief,
a starting line,
El Cid pranced,
dazzling Death
jeered and insulted,
scoffed and mocked.

The starting gun!
El Cid into the lead,
Death in his wake.
Take that, Death!
Death charged ahead,
flying white hooves,
the union of time and distance,
victorious Death,
and a massive emptiness,
the void,
the silence,
not even the wind.