December 13, 2013

Crying in the Wind

I'm standing on the bus
groceries on a shelf
waiting at a light
looking out the window
at an obese old woman
sitting on a sandy knoll
bare legs exposed
to the cold Las Vegas wind
wool cap on her head
old black coat unbuttoned
talking to her ghosts
toothless abandoned and damned broke
she sees me looking
says something I can't hear
the bus pulls away
I blow her a kiss
she blows one back
with a rare toothless smile
infuriated I turn
but nobody saw
all are indifferent
guarded bored and damned;
selfish like me
I want to return
give her my groceries
but I'd be hungry soon
momentarily I earnestly
want to kill someone
bash in some heads
drown them in blood
whoever is responsible for this crime
but I know
it would do no good
I can't even weep
I want to inquire
My dear,
why are you out here
weeping in the cold wind?
did your husband beat you
are you paying for forgotten crime
why are you a prisoner
of this place and time?
a mere mile from here
thousands of losers pull levers
press buttons on rigged video poker machines
hypnotically building Las Vegas
losing millions every day
to a mob that never sleeps
in a city built by losers
that spreads like an underground fire
sprouting stuccoed palaces
over the exhausted desert
Nellis Air Force Base
launches jets night and every damned day
their fine-tuned engines
whispering multi-million-dollar warnings
between the regular roars of helicopters
doing who knows what
going who knows where
as regular as trucks
vibrating over this city of losers
vulgar is their sound
from highways of the sky
over this neon lit city
where few are in heaven
many are in hell
and most struggle upward
in purgatory paying
for barely-remembered errors and crimes
crying in the wind
crying in the cold wind
I walk home
heavy-hearted and grim
unpack my groceries
turn up the heat
considering my own complicated crimes
for which I have no more excuses
I must have done my time
for whatever crime
I'm not sitting near a curb
crying in the wind
but loving my silence
peacefully writing and reading and eating and hardly sleeping
roof over my head
refrigerator purring
like a cat full of food
no hypnotic mind-killing
television brainwashing me
plenty of coffee and sugar
72 and feeling fine
what did I do
to deserve this sudden happiness?
I spent decades my friend
crying in the wind
I feel no guilt
I feel no shame
I assign no blame
where it does not belong.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Beautiful. Reminds me of e. e. cummings. Bout time!!

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