These are the Things I Write

These are the things I write:

     Of the dis-used, those in the gutters ant-bitten and scourged,
     Of the promises that so often go missed in the supple mechanics of politics,
     Of those who use up all of themselves: the forgotten, the fried, the drug-addled, those who sleep too much, and those who
sleep not at all.

     I write of the single parents, the mothers, and those fathers, who must work to weary and work through the night, the rains, the
clouds, the sunshine, the childrens’ games.

     I write of the married ones, who sleep alone in the large beds, under or over the down and cotton as their wont, who await the
          return of those they wait, they who keep vigil in our and foreign streets, towns, villages, borders, caves, and lands.

     I write of those who’s awaited return will never come.  They who will die who should not.  They who trust the reasons and do
          not question, do not waiver, do not falter on their trivial feelings.  They who do what they are told to do, and in so
doing become dead.  I write for these.

     I write of the flower alone in the window box on the tenth floor of a brick apartment on forty-third street.

     I write the flowing winds of jets streaming across the continent, trailing contrails and glinting sun and ushering those who
          must go to loved homes or desperate meetings to the destinations:
          Over the farmlands, the wetlands, the city quagmires; the grasslands and forests ever receding; the birds we’ve brought
to the brink: Bald Eagle and California Condor and the Woodpeckers and Spotted Owls; over the Timberwolves and Canadian Geese and the California Grizzly and the Beavers; over the failing family farms and the failing
small towns: Eastern and Central and Mountain and Westering.
          Over all these they fly, unintelligible and mad.  And screaming incoherence.  So of these I write.

     I write of the mud.
     Of the slick slippery wetness of it, the way it ingratiates itself into clothing and skin and fingernails, the way it slides away,
          squishes up between toes, the coldness and warmness of it.  Of the different kinds and colors: the red, the brown, the
          black and yellow; the slick and the solid and the viscous; the building kind and the tearing-down kind.

Of these things I write.

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