Wednesday, June 29, 2022

6-29-2022 A Commute (UPDATED)

She sets out

Mrs Robinson flows through the airways

Stars and Stripes

Flag fans adorn a white picket fence

Tall flagpole nearby

Stars and Stripes, hanging limply in the morning heat

Sheriff rolls along behind her

Early morning sun, slashing a path from sidewalk to road

A couple sits on the curb, feet in the street

 sharing breakfast

their cart nearby

 Two separate freeway overpasses, police duos, trios - lights flashing

curbside, near the unhoused homes

A cart, stuff inside

On the sidewalk, a dark lump of a shape

Is that a person?

A body?

She'll never know

Woman near bus stop
Blue surgical mask, earbuds and a smart phone
held flat on the palm of her hand
Attire for 2022

Woman facing 8 foot solid hedge
To who?
Someone on the other side?

Folks in shorts & hats, jogging, walking dogs, wearing earbuds to tune out the world

Others in filth, rags, carts abundant with stuffed white plastic grocery bags

Others with their cart near empty, a wooden pallet and a few small items

An elder, white-haired man carries a garden hoe as he moves down the sidewalk, 

past the freeway offramp.

A younger man, wearing well-worn pants: one leg above the knee, one to the ankle

He waves a window squeegee, talking to no one seen

Yet another man, clothes ragged, outside of a liquor store, attacking sidewalk cracks with the claw end of a hammer


And the man...the man who lives in his truck, curbside to the golf course.

An incredibly tall chainlink fence separates him from them

A big tarp covers the huge amount of stuff in the bed of the truck, a giant lump

Cab of truck stuffed completely full, sometimes just enough room for him

Other days no room at all

The well worn asphalt under his truck, stuffed with more stuff


chain link

And the man, who squats on this slice of an intersection island, major freeways nearby

He and his small dog, who has a blanket to protect him from the heat & a water bowl...and their umbrella...

Most days, they are here or walking to or away from here

Man with a troubling expression of such deep sadness, my heart breaks again and again every time

Red light, cars come up fast in her rearview

She sits stopped, no place to go

Front unit of a four-plex

Front window panes, a Scrabble-like letter in each square


She must drive on before reading the lines below

So, she wonders: whose side are they on

She wonders where she belongs

Certainly, it is not here

The news is overwhelming...

(replace 'news' with heat, thoughts, concerns...everything)

May you, may I find ways to live with that


Photographs by NAE ©2022