Early summer morning light
Brightened the red gutter
Cool, cool breeze blew cooling
The warm red in the gutter
Children stood starving, standing
At the gutter, at the red.
Neighbors, parents came and ran
Adults ran quick and sick
They were sick away from the red.
Children stood, stood starving
And the redness ran down the
Cooling. And the sun was high and
The gutter was bright
And the sun was high and warm.
The gutter was bright and the
Children ran away to play in the
Up the Street.
The Tates didn’t come to dinner last
We expected them at seven
Seems they were both shot in the
Strangely enough, right at our front
Keith nor I heard the shots or saw red
and blue lights
the meat burned, still we can have
and watch stories about them on TV
and say, “Hey, honey, our street is on
Man with patience
I see that ancient bastard
He’s 30 or 70, but he’ll die tomorrow
So much a bastard he has no mother
to visit his grave or welcome him to
I see him every morning in my lobby
He pleads it’s cold outside, but, he
He lives outside. A shuffling, smelling
heap, he is,
Just sits and watches me go by, all
I call him boy or old boy or bastard or
But you know what he does?
He gazes, rests his eyes on me and
grins. And grins a musty,
cracked tooth smile.
Sits on me like a wet lace tablecloth
Underneath the sprinklers in that maze
Feeling sunny, maybe sneaking
of passionate love
feeling time and the future
it has been joy
A lifetime in the pit
and atomic equation
of personal reaction.