Poems by Shayna Klee


This is life now, hooray

They say quit your day job

but you keep showing up

Every shift spilling

hot water down knees

your boyfriend promises

a massage, falls asleep

you trace his

blotchy tattoos, 

aching back

foods up

he doesn’t call back

says me first

his crab claws held


get older get another

run out of

complaints or people

to complain to

listen to the cure

never find yours


we're never empty

at the same time

the unhappy drains

the other

strains the other

dried up cold, forgotten

then says

take chances

but when your chances leave

you sitting on your asses

gas station, 5 AM

they forget your dreams

the cigarettes stop

doing their job

crush the pack buy


The Maid in the Gross Family Apartment

Poor Irma in the Friday dryer

sticking around two hours past

her shift waiting for Golda's

dress to dry, is shy because

I'm blonde and from


which she has only seen

on TV

Poor Irma setting the table

I try to help, break a plate

she's cooking dinner 

on the ridge of her nose

no time to wipe sweat and grease


Poor Irma escaped the Philippines

but these rich folks we wait on

don’t know that,

because they never bothered to ask,

all they know is without her

legal papers they can 

get away with paying her less


And on her 30 minute break she

reads the bible,

doesn’t steal bottles of milk

and tp rolls like me

she lets me dip a dirty

spoon into the 

rice and ratatouille

she prepared for tomorrow

takes only a little Nutella on

toast to stay awake


And for the first time

I realized

after this year au pairing

I will go back to my

middle class family

but Irma will be Poor Irma

all her life

until the day she dies

and when that happens the

little boy will find a new

person to brush his teeth

while Irma skips down

gold streets

say, poor them,

her blues washed bright








Shayna Klee is a 22 year-old American artist and poet living in France. She aims to create an honest and raw body of work, and hopes that her poetry is a reflection of that. She is a contributor to the alternative Paris travel blog, “Hedgehog guides” and has had poetry published in various magazines. When she is not writing poetry, she lives for exploring and writing at www.lapindanslesnuages.com .