Thursday, September 19, 2019

Going Forward by Going Back

Because I just started this, and I want to post some past poems, I'm giving you this one from Writers Resist in July of this year. It's from  my Life Observed series, as is the first one Woman Her world on Skids.


By Dotty LeMieux

It’s delivery day at St. Vincent’s Dining Room
men unloading trucks with bread, canned goods, day-old
everything for the homeless
and the not-yet homeless
hanging on by the skin of their teeth,
the ones who have teeth
and the ones who only have the skin

Scruffy off-white hair,
long brown coat like a cape
swirling around bony shoulders,
gap-toothed smile, a man
picks bagels one, two, three
from a giant plastic bag open on the sidewalk

The sidewalk not crowded yet,
the bagel bag still fairly full,
the man in the brown cape-like garment
has his pick, takes his time choosing
plain, seeded, onion,
maybe a spicy cinnamon one
to summon the spirit of the Season

Face lit up with his choices, clutched
in his two hands as he starts across the street,
hair blowing around his face,
cape billowing out behind his slender frame,
he is transformed into a Romantic poet,

reciting odes
in a proper British accent,
to adoring listeners
gathered in the glittering firelight
of the local pub,
his hands gesturing freely,
accentuating the high points
of his lyricism

Back on B St., he strides in front of my car,
stopped now to let him pass, to watch
his coattails fly in his wake,
like autumn’s last leaves
swooshing around us, into the street, launched
by winter’s first insistent breath.

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