Tag Archives: Waiting

Dear Pedestrian,

17 Apr

to have your eyes fixed on the scrap of sidewalk
always two steps ahead, despite this intersection,
is an exhibit.  It’s only an exit from the parking lot,
but I am here and I see the leaves and branches
of your wind tossed hair—how they soften, like dusk,
the hard bark of your expression.

A blunt couple, frozen, stands with car doors open
as if they expect you to do the unexpected.
And I, like a muttering magician, wave my hand
for you to cross, guessing you need something,
like a sense of place, to make your way east
along this boulevard.

But if stories are a way to see what happens,
and poetry a seed, you are both to me
when, by the corner of my bumper, you perform
a perfect hairpin and go back west, leave
my body churning its wonder and distress
in this, the failing flame of my forgiveness. 

Sleep and Dreams

26 Oct

man napping sculpture

No crime, keeping watch for couplets or half-lines
to cut through the alley or gather at the street sign.
They arrive as I usher my daughter to bed,
as I doze by her side.      And no surprise

to see them when I stay up after midnight…
but to find them at the trigger of a drive-by
is a hard rhyme.  I have no wish to testify

when the shooter is close—when he is the son
of a neighbor; when I pass him on the sidewalk
on his way back from the Short Stop—then I think,

No!  I didn’t hear a gunshot; I had a dream
that ended with a pop.  I tell myself
      I never had the gift; I need more sleep.
      No living poet would choose this street.