Not quite weekly poetry update

Here’s the latest, continuing in the vein of writing about things and people I see on the way to or from work:

When the voice speaks

How’s a dreadlocked and wrinkled Caribbean woman
wind up outside the subway in Boston
dancing and swaying in cowboy boots with
“Everybody Loves An Irish Girl?” printed on her shirt?

How’d you come three thousand miles to wind up
holding a cup of change and five or eight creased cardboard signs
block-printed small and crammed with text that nobody pauses to read?

I ask what it says and she says, softly
“which one, honey?”
The sign tied to her forehead begins
SEEK ENLIGHTENED GIVER SEND DONATION TO UNIVERSE –
ATTN VIP TAXPAYER BACK BAY BOSTON –
I can’t tell what she means, what she needs
apart from cash and Risperdal.
But I know what she’s telling me: when the voice speaks
you have to listen.

One thought on “Not quite weekly poetry update”

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