Monday, January 15, 2018
She is like a squat old machine,
Off-kilter but still chugging along
The uphill stretch of sidewalk
On Harrison Street, handbag slung
Crosswise and, I’m guessing, heavy.
And oh, the set of her face, her brow’s
Profound tracks, her mouth cinched,
Lips pressed flat. Watching her
Bend forward to tussle with gravity,
Watching the berth she allows each
Foot (as if one is not on civil
Terms with the other), watching
Her shoulders braced as if lashed
By step after step after step, and
Her eyes’ determination not to
Shift, or blink, or rise, I think:
I am you, one day out of five,
Tired, empty, hating what I carry
But afraid to lay it down, stingy,
Angry, doing violence to others
By the sheer freight of my gloom,
Halfway home, wanting to stop, to quit
But keeping going mostly out of spite.
Monday, January 15, 2018