24 August 2016

Poem-A-Day #177 : It Has Taken Me A Long Time But I Am Ready

It Has Taken Me A Long Time But I Am Ready

His hands are the color of leather
                                        This is wrong I know it is because it feels like theft
He reaches through the empty space of the window
I hand him the three dollars that I have decided I don't need today
                                        I am cheap - smug - airing of family secrets
                                        I have come to my own words for absolution
                                        and perhaps this is the worst part of it
I want to tell him that I am sorry but I tell him to be safe which is the same thing as sorry
                                        My own fears of poverty - I am poor - will probably die poor
                                        but I have a roof and sometimes food
                                        and since I don't have hands that look
                                        like they are coated in coal I am obviously better
I do not tell him more
and I sit and wait to turn the car into traffic in a silence that builds behind my ears like cicadas storming in their trees
                                        Better than - all my life I have felt the pressure
                                        of somehow climbing a ladder that wasn't even before me
                                        a ladder that no one told me I could even climb
They are screaming
                                        I wanted to sound better and look better
                                        I put on that drag and do my business every day
The cicadas want me to know this as I drive my car into traffic
they need me to hear these words as I listen to my music
and think about my day before me
                                        It is a weight
                                        cheap - smug - and trying not to be noticed as such
I am like this man with the dirty hands sitting on a corner by a McDonald's
I am this man sitting with a cardboard sign that says HUNGRY / PLEASE HELP