Tiger Tattoo 

©2002 Andrew Calhoun, recorded on Tiger Tattoo

It's quiet as ghosts, 6 am, 
There's a new temp in the mailroom, Amy Lynn; 
A weary woman of 23, 
I look at her and she looks at me; 
I look at her and she looks at me. 

She moved up from Nevada last year, 
With her 4-year old daughter and boyfriend to live here; 
Near his kids and the wife that he left for her, 
Now he thinks of returning, he's not really sure; 
He thinks of returning, he's not really sure. 

And her little girl pines for a mystery father, 
She's got sister and brothers by three other mothers; 
And Amy's had a cancer, and she's missing fillings, 
Can't afford a pap smear, can't abide drilling. 

And she looks so pale, like she's wasting away, 
i lend her my walkman to get through the day; 
She brings halloween cookies, silly names make us laugh, 
And she shows me a white tiger tattooed on her calf; 
Shows me a tiger tattoo on her calf. 

Well she likes scottish pipe tunes, and she wants another baby, 
"...before i'm gutted"—she says it sedately—
As if after all her poor parts have been through, 
They won't last as long as that tiger tattoo; 
They won't last as long as her tiger tattoo. 

Something unspeakable happened to Amy, 
It was held in a poem she never did show me; 
A quiet goodbye, my assignment is through 
May the angel pass over that tiger tattoo; 
May the angel pass over your tiger tattoo.

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