Walmart Pariah

A woman stands at the entrance

With a shopping cart full

Of her cherished belongings,

Waiting patiently on the generosity,

Or, rather, pity, or worse, guilt,

Of the passerby, to convict,

To shame, or maybe, on the rare instance,

To inspire, to give a gift.

Aren’t we all like her,

Dragging our materials

From house to house,

Packing them away

For that rainy or cold day,

That is sure to come?

Aren’t we petitioners

To passing angels or demons,

Or a god that plays favorites,

To have mercy or just indulge us,

One more time,

So we can get our fix,

Spoiled children of a wealthy parent,

Taken a few wrong turns on the streets,

The pariah or prodigal reduced to

Yearning after the feed of pigs,

Coming out of Walmart with

Their baskets full?

Spirals

Drifting through despair,

The emptiness tingles.

My soul quivers

At the tickling breeze

Of meandering routine,

The repetition of work,

And the high-pitched whistling

Of idle conversation.

The circular motion

Of a life without purpose,

A mind without focus,

And feet without direction,

All come together for an

Absurd account of a life lived

Without meaning.

Freedom comes with its own

Heavy chains,

And a weight that is a

Painful, woe-some

Burden to bare.

Tonight (Take My Hand)

Would you take my hand tonight,

And would you take the lead if I asked you to,

For this once it would be prudent,

To follow our feelings for each other,

Yes, it would be best,

To act on our impulses,

Because we are young and soft,

And we will live forever

In each other’s eyes, yes, and

In each other’s arms,

We are invincible.

So take my hand tonight.

Something I Said

Something I said, in memory,

Something that haunts me every day,

As I look back on tempestuous times.

Times of strife, chaos, disorder, conflict.

Times of sadness, anger, violence.

Those days are not my fondest.

Growing up in my mother’s home,

We argued, we fought, we shouted,

There were hurtful experiences to be sure.

And on those days, when the tension

Boiled over into an expression

Of hit and miss, chase and tag, and

The belt would come out. Oh, the belt!

Those times I would run to the front door,

Unlock it as fast as I could, and run

Down the sidewalks and across

The streets of my neighborhood,

In my socks, or barefooted,

In the rain sometimes, or after dark,

To my friend’s house, where I could cry,

And then relax and forget, and then

I could be safe again, and then,

My mom would call, to check to see

If I was there, and she would say

I should come home. And when

I was sure the storm had passed,

I would go home again.