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
talking
To who?
Someone on the other side?
Herself?


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

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

A B O R T I O N

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

xo

Photographs by NAE ©2022

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

such powerful poetry in this thought-full journey ... Arlo Guthrie's Which Side are you On? came to mind ... how hard it is to comprehend the other side

Anonymous said...

I woke up remembering more:
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
stuff
chain link

With added photo:
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

Anonymous said...

Yes, Guthrie. sigh.

Anonymous said...

So much...

Anonymous said...

This is Marti:
Today, I wrapped my forehead in my Trust cloth as I did the communal Trust meditation, searching for the sense of grounding,,,

Today I watched Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson become a member of the Supreme Court with joy as well as sadness for the court is no longer Supreme. Still it was an up-liifting moment for our country. The balance on the court won't change but to see her take her place, to know that she brings experience unlike any other, to see her, a woman, an African American woman, I give thanks.

Today I thought of tomorrow, the first of July and of the coming celebration and I asked myself, why and what are we celebrating?

Anonymous said...

Yes. Really too much. (Nancy)

Anonymous said...

Marti~ I listened to a clip on my lunch break. To think of her adding her insight & experience into the conversation.
There are a lot of flags around here. A lot. And yes, what exactly? (Nancy)

Liz A said...

coming back to "sign my name" to this

Anonymous said...

Thanks for doing so Liz. Somehow I became "anonymous" on my own blog and don't have the wherewithal to figure out why and fix it. (Nancy)