Sunday, June 16, 2024

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A poem: In My Town

In my town the youth congregate to complain about their futures and Try their hand at drinking away their worries. They want more than their imaginings of the future can give them

 

In my town the bearded poet with two front teeth missing is in a political rage,

Drinking his early morning beer in front of the poor man’s café

Where the marijuana made artists get their coffee.

 

In my town a young and burnt out cello player with huge lips and a beret full of tips has been

playing Amazing Grace all day

Because it’s the only song that he loves

And I lean against the wall and watch with an appreciation for passion.

 

In my town a drunken man sits on the sidewalk bench in a white tank top,

Putting out cigarettes on the brim of his hat

And contemplating the fire hydrant in front of him,

Wondering how to set it off.

 

In my town I watch my feet move on the sidewalk

Where the summer children have misspelled words in pink chalk on cement

And when I look up,

The girl I tried not to love appears magically on Main Street to assassinate me.

 

In my town there are too many pretty girls in the ice cream shop

Playing with their iPhones

Because they have forgotten how to enjoy each other.

In my town they sit in the heart of the sun and complain about tyranny and hypocrisy and

oppression.

They hate their country but they love their countrymen.

 

In my town at 2 A.M. a drunken pregnant woman tries to bike home

And falls

Cursing the injustice of potholes to her boyfriend who is not really there.

 

In my town the youth congregate to complain about their futures and

Try their hand at drinking away their worries.

They want more than their imaginings of the future can give them

And they discuss their inner complexities over skim lattés.

They do not know that they will one day forget these beautifully wretched moments

In their beautifully wretched town.

 

(In 2013, this poem appeared in ThunderDome, the writers collective.)

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