under siege…

under siege

the old man
was wheeled
from the emergency room
toward the second floor
the billing department
interceded
making certain
he had signed
the appropriate forms
all the while
he could
barely
recall
his own
name

involuntary metamorphosis…

8 pm
two lovers
life
partners
sharing a sunset
9 pm
the drive-by shooting
victim
is transported
to emergency
10 pm
the
patient
is in critical condition
by
11 pm
the belongings of
the
deceased
must be removed
from the room
and
before noon tomorrow
the mortuary
should pick
it
up for burial

the attorney…

his call button
went unattended
while
the night nurse
completed
mandatory forms
that
were developed
in response
to his last
law suit
his
death
was listed
due
to
natural
causes

cowboy…

he lives day-to-day
each evening he adorns
the same worn leather stool
as if it were his lover
caressing the foam on the beer
as if gently kissing a woman’s lips
his dimly lit remembrances of today
fade quickly as she moves to the silver pole
the delilah his mom warned him about
but she’s just woman whose husband split
when the baby was born with a palsy
so now she’s doing what she has to do
cause hospitals will save the child’s life
but ain’t gonna feed it once it’s out the door
with no other jobs in this wind swept valley
of poverty and commercial decay
their nightly fantasies pay the bills
as he places his silver tipped boots
on the brass bar
as cold as her heart is to each of them
he breathes quickly just like ever other night
singing aloud along with redneck mother
as she removes the last fibers of their civility
he can’t imagine anything finer
and doubts she’s got a problem in the world
up there making him happy
like all women should
getting all his hard-earned cash
just for a little shake of this and that
and he wonders how such people
get to have such an easy life
how they come to be so free
not tied down to a 40 hour week
or uh eight-hour day
and why some folks seem
to care about issues
which he judges  to
      have no answers
      or any directions
yet
over beer and whiskey
he solves those concerns
yet
unasked
or of any importance
to anyone outside
the sphere of his smoke rings