Friday, April 15, 2011

on loop 288 & I-35, Denton

It is shocking how quickly life situations can change- in reality we are all just one or two unlucky events away from being one of the people we ignore standing on the street with a sign. A frightening prospect indeed.

* * *
The lady at the counter
tells me no more is left
so I move along past
shuffling my feet.
Does it matter to her
that my tongue is cleft-
deformed, so I stay in my seat?

I look in a mirror
and see what others view-
tattered clothes
wrinkled skin and scabs
face unshaved.
Fly-like eyes darting 'round
search for non-existent food-
beasts in my belly gnawing
like eviscerated slaves.

You chuckle at my sign
as I hold it to my breast
or stop and gape
with wonderment
at a man whom has no shame.
You rush past and forget
how God has made you blessed;
it seems that "good Samaritans"
no longer have a claim.

A man in a loud tie
talks about me on TV;
I see it at a store
and on the newspaper page.
You wonder if I'm aware
of the time spent just on me;
I want to scream I do not care
but can't bring forth the proper rage.

Not a one impatient
stranger in their Cadillacs
their empty words produced
for re-election
can understand why I
stand with sign and "slack"
they stare dumb
from windows gilded to perfection.

I fought their war
kept their precious
children rich and free-
grimy hands once held
their flag with swollen pride.
The same hands would have
gripped tight my college degree
but foreign lands and bullet holes
cast dreams aside.

So I stand in the median
with my sign clutched
to my breast
while empty suits spout
"robust times" and
"deserving" what I've seen.
I rage inside my brain
until I reach a lofty crest;
then sag down in disarray and
the smell of spent gasoline.

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