from the window an old pokey pickup truck…

i’ve spent
quite a few
sleepless nights
during
this
quarantine period
trying
to
measure aspects
of
my life
and
wondering
how others
could have
just
now
begun
to
appreciate
the struggles confronting
those
all around them
since
aunt bea
has lived
through
so much
i thought
i’d give her
call
and
asked
her opinion
aunt bea
said
the pace
of
our daily routines
blurs
our views
of
of life’s journey
keeping
what we’ve seen
or
what
we could have seen
out of focus
perhaps
the pandemic has
forced us
to
slow down
and
see
what’s been
right
in front of us
the whole time
we just
needed
to slow down
a bit
to feel
the pain
of
others

 

refugee’s journey to freedom…

he said
death ain’t
that
bad
but
dying was
quite
complicated
found myself
and
family
in one of those
no man lands
between
two nations
we had left horror
only
to find
that
horror
had followed
our footsteps
winter’s frigid hands
took
our first child
while
the second died
of
that new virus
well
that’s what we
suspected
since
no one
was testing
nor
for that matter
considering us
suppose
it didn’t help
that she
hadn’t eaten
much that last week
my wife
the elders said
died
of a broken heart
such things
are hard to prove
but
having such losses
and
being seen
as
subhuman
may add
some validity
to
their belief
as for me
i drowned
crossing the border
my body
was swept
out to sea
no need
for a burial
in
another
unmarked grave
so you see
being dead
ain’t
all that bad
but
dying
well
that was
complicated

 

editing and proofreading needed…

surely
had the poet
found
the right words
people
would have listened
or
read the words
upon
the page
and
rose up
from
complacency
to feed
a
starving child
or
to shelter
a
fragile soul
from
life’s storms
those
poetic words
that
would give
hearing
to
the deaf
and
sight
to
the blind
surely
had the poet
found
the
right
words
the
right
incantation
dead emotions
would
be
alive
for surely
no
human
could ignore
and
deny
such
basic
needs
of
others
to
exist

 

an unknown soldier…

he had been
dead
for
a couple hours
but
no one noticed
since
he often napped
in
the afternoon
in
the shade
of
the war memorial
to
vietnam vets
he claimed
that
the figures
on
the memorial
were his unit
and
the one
leading the charge
was modelled
after
him
lots of folks
would just giggle
and
say
sure man
that’s you
though
there was
a strong resemblance
anyway
he said
it’s my
right
to sleep here
so no one
was really concerned
about
his long nap
could have been up late
making the rounds
of
restaurant bins
last night
you’d be surprised
by
what they throw out
so
he may
have been feeling
like
a stuffed cat
needing
to sleep
more than usual
so
no one was concerned
until
the police
showed up in the park
along
with a contingency
of
border patrol agents
making
one of their routine
round up
the mexicans
and
vagrants
strategic operations
it was then
when
his friends
got concerned
he didn’t respond
when pushed
by
an officer
of
the law
he
just
laid there
motionless
someone
said
he got buried
in one
of those
national
cemeteries

 

what’s in a name…

the brown bag prophet
leafing
through
a magazine
for
parents
said
minorities
are giving
their children
the first name
president
i was
somewhat
bemused
so
asked
why
he replied
that way
even if
they commit
serious crimes
they
won’t be punished
or
convicted

 

then freedom dies…

sitting
acquiescing
to
injustice
tacitly submitting
to
our own slavery
denying
that
there are
chains
binding us
to
survival fears
justifying
our lot
in
life
by
claiming
that
this life
is
better than
that life
and
this country
is
better
than
that country
so
words
are spoken
denying
the smell
of
a nation’s
rancid flesh
passively
saying
there’s
nothing
i
can do