Labor

Labor

 

Loud rumbling bikes.  Smothering solder guns.

Rusting sculptures. The toil of women willing

To bake their skin to keep their children safe.

Three sides of a square cluttered with papers

Strewn accidentally.  Not enough to hold life

Together for one nomad.  He moves again.

Dread locks us.  Prisoners still dream.  Cracked

Paint reminds pigeons to fly.  Hot bricks scorch

The feet of toiling women.  Can we keep children safe?

The operation fails.  Feet hurt just for standing.

Time.  No one has the time.  Even our souls rebel,

Not enjoying this new supposed form.  Life?

Smoke diffuses.  Today’s medicine is not

Quick enough to slow us down to past paces.

Toiling women.  Smiling children.  Non-time.

Hargraves Blues

Hargraves Blues

No obstacles in the physical realm can stop the
Flow of fix or ruin. One bicyclist, content to move
In limited space, dodges traffic, kicks her stand
And heads in to read. She gets paid to read, not many do.

No life is long enough to support all the relationships
We build: kids to cats, Moms to cleaning, teacher-student,
Boss to worker. One walker strides down Rosemary Street,
Pulls his hat over his ears, holds palms open, seeking change.

No gesture, however insignificant, goes unseen
In a town full of women. Drivers bounce from one plan
To another, running reds. Phone calls, calendar notes and
Breakfast fill seconds between lane changes, defying death.

No effort, regardless of intention, can sew a revolution
Without mass appeal. Two men shrug, walking into shade.
Nothing for them to do but drink and smoke and go to sleep.
The truth is here to see but no one’s looking anymore.

No wind, even from Saskatchewan, can clean us now.
Some loudmouth stumbles in offering to teach, but
None will have it. A rider, bussing there and back for free,
Takes comfort when a man stands to offer her a seat.

No sandwich, ever so scrumptious, lingers past initial taste.
Sun shines on a bouncing orb. Four for four, he’s another
Wizard with his hands. He does not get paid to shoot a ball.
His hand-to-eye skills have no value in this part of the world.

 

 

Copyright, Doug Stuber, 2002. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given, and with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.