We Burn the Pagan Puppet

We burn the pagan puppet to release
Unhealthy obsessions and stress,
Everything that brings us gloom and despair.
We scrawl these worries on scraps of paper and
Lay them on Zozobra's massive pyre.
The marionette rises 50 feet,
Towering over us,
Threatening to hunt us down,
Trample us with his despair.
But before he can laden us with more
Silly human demons,
We set him aflame,
Fire lapping at his immense feet,
Engulfing our fears,
Divorce papers, despised photographs,
Troublesome documents,
Taking them to ash and consuming the
Monstrous effigy,
Lifting our burdens in a dangerous blaze,
Freeing us,
If only for one night,
From the freaks
That nag at our souls.

© Poem Fix 2012
Photo by Jeff Weiss


Center of the Universe

A Native American told me that each person is the
Center of a universe,
Their universe,
Millions of separate universes
Whirling around each other.
The self is the only thing a person can know.
Everything else,
Knowledge, media, sounds, history, art, other people,
Are outside stimuli,
All perceived differently by every organism.
So a fly is the center of its universe, too.
When you die, your entire universe vanishes,
Disappears with a whoosh,
Emptying its entropy,
It's arrow of time,
All of it, falling to ash
As if it never existed.
But pieces of my universe may also be
Pieces of yours,
With every universe connected somewhere
If only by a thread,
A degree of separation.
This means my universe
And yours,
Even if only by a little,
And so make us

© Poem Fix 2012
Image: S. Ivanov



Boo-Boo is a bear and a
Small cut or bruise
Easily covered with a Band-Aid.
It's a strange name for a
Cute animal that spends his time
Warning his goofy friend who's always on the
Verge of great mischief.
Yogi is a bear, too,
As are wise meditators from South Asia,
Who seem about as far as possible
From a troublemaking park dweller,
Or a baseball great with clever quips
Who loans his name to the cartoon creature.
The elder bear acts more human than a
Dangerous carnivore.
He mimic's Art Carney's Ed Norton,
Who works the sewers but specializes in
Irritating Ralph,
But the cathode ray tube humans regress to mammals
When they don fuzzy tail hats
To honor their Raccoon Lodge.

© Poem Fix 2012
Image: US National Archives and Records Administration


Memory Lane

We recall moments through lenses of
Time, emotion, changing priorities,
Love, death, marriage, divorce, accidents, geography
And surviving photographs.
An event's purity vanishes instantaneously,
Shaped by our perceived place in it,
Its fleeting importance,
Imprinted on a brain cell that,
When retrieved,
Presents only a facsimile of the snapshot,
But it is no longer the exact truth.
We shape shift it unconsciously,
Polishing it,
Raising, lowering, focusing its vitality,
Inventing different supporting evidence and characters
Until they serve their function,
Anchoring us somewhere in time
So we can talk and reminisce,
But always about what might have been
Because the memory has been
Warped, shaved, brought back, stacked away repeatedly.
And each recollection morphs and dog ears the time,
Molding, foxing, blurring into
Sweet lies
We carry and change and use forever.

© Poem Fix 2012



Jackson chooses a new town
By driving his car until it dies.
He changes his name to Jake and
Takes a job washing dishes at the sandwich diner
Outside the one-stop-sign town.
He wears a white sleeveless t-shirt
To make his ink visible
And keeps a two-day stubble
Because he's certain the waitress likes it.
She does,
Eying him,
Wondering what brought him to this dusty place
And guessing about his technique and mystery.
She's tired of the same five worn out guys who pursue her over coffee and pie,
And weary of giving in out of necessity and deflated desire.
She goes home with him one night and
Discovers it's only a room in the rent-by-the-week motel,
Barely big enough to hold the bed
Which is all they need.
She pretends to ignore him the next day.
He decides she's not good enough.
So they go on with their desperate lives,
He, catching a ride to a town three stops down the highway,
She, pouring crummy coffee and trying to remember his tattoo,
Both of them caught in a destiny of unfulfilled low living and
High expectations.

© Poem Fix 2012
Image: Robert Lawton


The Man

If you're an imbecile you can
Work for the man
And never give it a second thought.
As time goes on you will find
The man rises stronger, wilder,
Grows intimidating bloody fangs that threaten to sever
The ties that bind you to your
Future and security.
The man tasks you,
Appearing dead ahead no matter how much you alter course to avoid
Perdition's flames.
Embrace the man,
Custom made for you,
Created to heal your past,
Melting when you turn him from
The man
Into just a man.
Without confronting, accepting him,
You will face him repeatedly, incarnate,
Waiting for you with a cruel smile and
Blessed lessons.

© Poem Fix 2012
Image: Odilon Redon


Pepper Tree

To keep the large pepper tree from falling
I thinned its east-facing side
Where over time it leaned into the morning sun
And took on a permanent unhealthy angle,
Jeopardizing my house.
My rusty jaw-toothed saw
Sliced through easy lower twigs
Exposing thick weighty branches,
My target.
When I needed more height I fetched a ladder,
Balancing tenuously,
Hacking at strong wood
Feasting on gravity.
Healthy green limbs fell
So the tree could survive.
I started through the last heavy arm,
Saw almost too late that it supported a nest
With three small powder blue eggs.
I stopped, leaving a deep wound in the tree
That would fester and claim the branch.
For now, the nest stayed intact,
But for how long?
I heard a desperate wind last night,
Which kept me up,

© Poem Fix 2012
Photo: Poem Fix


When Good Old Dog Got Sick

I did not acknowledge when
Good old dog got sick.
He's just old, I told myself,
Like me.
It happens
You slow down.
But sometimes he wouldn't get up
Too painful.
I didn't want to accept that kind of truth
But hurt is hurt
So we saw the vet
Who gave a sad compassionate look and said
When it's time it's time
You'll know.
I took good old dog home and
Loved him,
Forced him to still go on walks with me
For my sake.
Our lives went on until
One day he became agitated and wouldn't move,
No food or drink.
My discomfort mattered more than his,
Beyond what was reasonable.
I kept him going,
Urged him to
Snap out of it,
But when it was time
I did know.
I took him to the vet and
Handed him over,
Guilty for taking it this far,
I gave him a final brave hug and
Kissed his head.
They removed his collar and presented it to me,
Morbid memento.
He was led down a long hallway where,
Before disappearing,
He turned and looked at me
One last time.
I couldn't read his tired gaze
But it fucked my soul
And I swallowed hard,
And wondered if this is how it will be
When my time comes.

 © Poem Fix 2012
Photo: Elf


We Build On Top of the Old

We build on top of the old
Rather than removing the unwanted.
Below Five Points
Another century comes alive,
Tanneries, tenements, saloons,
All buried beneath our feet
Where we find them
Still and waiting.
Theaters and oyster houses,
Danger and death,
Described by Dickens as
Reeking everywhere with dirt and filth.
Perhaps that's why it was abandoned,
Crushed and razed,
So New York could start fresh.
But the remnants remain,
Finally offering up their relics,
Barrel slats
Pearl tea sets
Condiment and ink bottles
Yellow ware spittoons
Animal skeletons
Clay pipes
Bone lice combs,
All submerged against each other
Hoping to be discovered
To offer testament to a rowdy gang-infested time.
We remove these vestiges,
Cart them away to temporary storage in
The basement at 6 World Trade Center
Where they are given up to dust
When the towers fall,
And build atop them again.

 © Poem Fix 2012


The Man in 5-B

There is a man
With a hat in his hand
Who floats through life
With a ready apology.
He appears sad, melancholy,
Nostalgic for something he never experienced
But desperately desired
Yet can no longer articulate or remember.
He walks to work,
An invisible clerk,
Carefully selects groceries
When he can afford them,
Occasionally treating himself to chocolate holiday eggs,
Rich and milky with creamy caramel centers,
Like the ones his mother used to give him,
One a day,
Making them last,
Savoring them slowly
Like rare bubbles of oxygen to a
Drowning man.
Stained mug,
Fabric chair with threadbare arms,
And a nice warm blanket that insulates him from harm,
Protects him from the thorny navigations and complications outside.
On weekends
When there is nowhere to go
He stays cocooned in bed
Wondering what it would be like to have what others do,
Like the woman downstairs in 4-D.
He considers these longings fleetingly
Then retreats again inside deprivation and comfort.

© Poem Fix 2012
Photo: Evan-Amos


How to Start a Story

In the beginning
Are words that work well to
Start things off.
Nothing can come before that
Unless you listen to Vonnegut and
Start as close to the end as possible.
This moves things forward,
Keeps us interested,
Dispenses with preamble and
Planet building.
If we're not interested in
Heaven and earth,
Don't care what my name is,
Want to dispense with that
David Copperfield kind of crap,
Then we turn deep into the story
Where our protagonist is in trouble and
Looking for epiphany.
In the beginning,
He chose poorly,
Setting in motion a contrived plot
Where no one rests or uses the bathroom,
Where people aren't as real on the page
As they are arguing over a purchase at the dollar store down the block
Or suffering from an unfair tumor,
Because by design and perhaps by definition
Life is not fair.
That's the real beginning we deserve
But not the one we get.

© Poem Fix 2012
Photo: Wien Sommeregger


Star Wars Debate

Which one was that?
Where Obi-Wan finds out that Dooku has commissioned all these clones for the army.
Even though it's hush-hush.
And the third one?
That's where Boba Fett gets unleashed.
Where Darth Vader turns into Frankenstein at the end.
The third one is better than Return of the Jedi.
Ewok's suck.
Don't you want to hurl when an Ewok appears?
No, because it's Princess Leia on Endor in her cool speed racer outfit,
And then she's in the Ewok village and her hair is all long.
But you can see the zippers.
So it comes down to which is the best of the worst,
Return or Revenge.
Episode 4 is the best one.
No, Empire by far.
Episode 4 is truly the best because it sets the whole stage.
No one calls it A New Hope,
They tried to force it on us.
But the third one, Revenge, is my second favorite,
The Ewok one is at the bottom.
I think that's where George Lucas became too close friends with Spielberg,
They decided that the way to make real money was to sell plush toys.
If I had to sit down and watch one tonight it would be Empire.
You get The Imperial March melody.
How can you say no to that?
Empire is the one where you see the Red Imperial Guards for the first time.
Is Harrison Ford in them all?
No, just the second three
Or the first three
Depending on how you look at it.

© Poem Fix 2012
With nods to Thomas R, Dave R, Drew G and Mary W
Photo by Piotrus


No Election Here

Ask me who I will vote for,
I don't know
As if it matters.
I live in a solid color state
Red, blue, whatever
It's steadfast and colorfast.
My vote will either join a vast already decided majority
Or flap in the wind with a flag and the few who dissent,
Here, we see no candidates or ads
Yard signs are rare
Because the state's already been claimed and abandoned.
There is no election here
Not like a battleground
Where a candidate cries for every vote
Buys it ten times over
Kisses babies
Eats terrible food
Promises and patronizes
As if they will make a difference.
But here, away from the hoopla and gaffes,
We go on with our lives,
Quiet, unassuming.
We've already made up our minds
Unlike the vacillating independents who actually have a say
Who will decide the winner,
The least repulsive of the losers.

© Poem Fix 2012
Photo by Tom Arthur


Guardian Hummingbird

Guardian hummingbird
Perches nearby
Watching his
Five private feeders,
Swaying, clicking, chirping in warning
To those encroaching on his
Glass harem of sugar water.
He claims them by being present.
Showing up counts for something,
Possessing them,
Flitting from one branch to another,
Telling others of his species where the boundary of his world begins.
When a small thirsty relative intrudes
The guardian hummingbird charges,
Dive bombs,
Jousting with his needle-tipped beak,
Giving chase and drawn away
So another selfish bird can trespass and try to
Take his place.

© Poem Fix 2012
Photo by Poem Fix


Mind Fire

My neighbor is building a house,
The wood skeleton rising among the trees.
I see him out there,
Measuring, laying cinder blocks,
Cutting, hammering,
Cap pulled low over his eyes,
Pencil behind his ear.
At night, he disappears inside a tiny camper,
Living small until completing his castle.
I watch him from my deck,
Peering through binoculars,
Bringing his world into mine.
Tomorrow, when he runs an errand to the hardware store,
I will walk by the frame and
Flick an ash,
Setting it ablaze
Accidentally on purpose.
I will retreat behind a window,
Watch the flames lick the sky,
My neighbor standing helpless,
Talking furiously on his cell phone.
The fire will leap to trees and dry brush,
Flirting with my house
And my insecurities.

© Poem Fix 2012
Photo: Andreas Fink


Things I Need To Do Today

There are things
I need to do today.
Some are mine,
Others not.
All of them will define me by sunset.
I should be more discriminate with my time,
Not allow a list to absorb my identity,
Deny tasks and driving and spending money
That bleed the day.
What if I had the prescience to know this was to be
My last day?
Such clairvoyance would overhaul every minute.
I reject that.
I am determined not to treat today different.
The simplicity of normal is to be celebrated,
Reserved and preserved as is.
The stop at a hardware store,
Buying nearly ripe bananas,
Dropping off laundry,
Paying bills,
Mowing the lawn,
Cleaning the pool,
All of them so perfect, cherished,
The simple pleasures of living,
Appreciated and prized,
Welcomed accomplishment at night,
List completed,
Celebrated with feet up
And a cigar as the sun dips and
Dogs lap at the pool.

© Poem Fix 2012


Michael Collins Orbiting the Moon

I'm the loneliest man in the world
Up here, away from anyone who ever lived.
Dark, circling the far side of the moon
Radio silence.
Somewhere below, Neil and Buzz are making history
Running around Eagle
Erecting a flag
Picking up rocks
Getting famous,
While I remain steady, listening, preparing,
Swaddled in Columbia
Sweating like a nervous bride.
If they don't return
I'll make the journey home
A marked man for life,
The one who left them behind
Who should have fallen on his sword.
But if they survive,
Oh please let them live,
I'll be forgotten.
That's what I want,
To be disremembered,
An answer to a trivia question.
But I will always have this day,
Brilliantly unaccompanied,
Unimaginably solitary,
Filled with patience and
Waiting for grief.
I beg you, my countrymen,
Rise forthwith,
So I can go on with my life, and
Fade into exquisite obscurity.

© Poem Fix 2012
Image: NASA



Clocks in casinos are
You won't find them except on the
Wrist of a pit boss
Who wants you mesmerized,
Lose track of time,
Spend all your money,
Visit the ATM repeatedly, and
Stumble out into the warm dawn,
Demoralized, empty pockets,
Looking for a cheap diner with a sympathetic waitress who won't judge.
Nor will you see windows,
Because they can help inform time as well.
Casinos are fantasy traps of circular desperation,
Where sight and sound are
Rapturous, inviting, seductive,
Casting spells that make you feel
Handsome, beautiful, important.
There, in the hypnotic time con,
Engulfed by clouds of sound, nicotine smoke and
Scantily clad cocktail cuties,
You will smile while handing over your money,
Making an impossible bet that proves you're alive,
Just like real life,
Ecstatic highs and wretched lows,
Lovely, joyful, horrible misery,
But worth the gamble.

© Poem Fix 2012
Image: Jamie Adams


This Side of Heaven

Amelia's obsession was to
Circumnavigate the globe.
She followed fate and passion to a
Midnight departure from
Lae, New Guinea, 1937,
But never made it to
Howland Island.
Flying low and almost out of gas,
The Lockheed Electra fell silent,
Taking her passengers into decades of
Mystery and conjecture.
My father was eight went the water chose her,
And he has claimed the enigma as
His own obsession,
Fretting over the aviator's disappearance,
Reading every book,
Hoping that this or that story,
Would reveal the riddle.
Now, a new search has spotted suspicious debris
At the bottom of the ocean
Where her plane should be.
They will soon head back to a spot off Kiribati
For a close look.
But my father, aging and worried,
Fears he may not last long enough to hear the news,
And has asked that, if the plane is found,
I bring the news to his grave.
I will, I tell him, finding composure,
I'll bring a chair and a fresh bottle of Chivas,
Sit by your grave and read the article,
Maybe sprinkle some scotch over you,
I promise.
He says, I'd like that very much.
Still, hurry search party,
Head quickly to the underwater grave and bring back
Astonishing news immediately,
While my father is alive and can appreciate it on this side of heaven,
So he can solve the puzzle and enjoy the surprise.
There will always be a time for chairs and scotch.

© Poem Fix 2012
Image: Smithsonian Institution


Pumpkinville 1990

They shut down the airport--too hot.
Not because planes can't fly, but
Manuals don't go that high and
Asphalt melts.
So do people,
Who shut down when heat boils their blood.
The body shuts off,
Consumes itself into sleep with
Blistering breath
Then death.
The northeast ushers punishing winds,
A high pressure system that bakes everything,
Pushing and beating us into submission,
To remind us of the desert we've invaded.
On edge, we barely look at each other,
Urgent to get home and a
Struggling air conditioner,
Glass of cold water that can't keep ice.
We're rebuked in
First home to Hohokam who knew to bring water
And smart enough to flee when drought came.
But not us.
We stay here, bolted to the ground by Horace Greeley
And dry heat, the fool's invention.

© Poem Fix 2012
Image: © Gannett


Six Days

I arrive in the world hopeful,
Wondering what this lifetime will hold
But I already know the
Short time I've been granted.
Hello, they say to me,
And rush me away for
Tests and tensions,
As if they can measure god's intentions.
They give it a name, a defect,
Which is fine if it helps them cope with forces
Beyond their control,
And the consequences of another
Life, world, time.
So be it.
I was told it would be this way,
So it is.
Six days isn't long to experience a world,
But it's ample time to soak up the love I missed before.
I feel a passing sorrow for those who care for me,
Try not to focus on their sadness and pity.
I wish I could tell them it's OK.
They'll understand soon enough.
For now, they experience me as part of their own life contracts,
In the end,
I'm ready when the darkness comes to reclaim me
Because I wasn't gone long.
I allow my parents to mourn for me,
My gift to them,
And then I'm off for another try at healing.

© Poem Fix 2012
Drawing: Leonardo da Vinci


Transit Limbo

I sit in an airport again,
Waiting for a pilot
To take me to another airport.
A half-hour delay drags into three hours.
Exploring dingy newsstands,
Bagel kiosks,
Crummy restaurants with day-old nachos.
My back hurts from sitting, waiting,
Calculating time,
Draining the laptop battery.
Next to me, the purple lady with bad lipstick complains.
This is the worst thing ever, she says,
I'm never flying this airline again.
I tell her to blame the storm ripping through the region,
But she looks at me as if I have a social disease.
Weather, shmeather, she says,
Flying used to be fun, used to be glamorous,
Now they treat you like criminals.
I move away from her and sit across from a woman,
With explosive cleavage.
I try not to notice and put my head down.
I figure out what time it is at home and where I'm headed,
Heavy math,
Wondering if the hotel will save my room.
I think about my kids and where they might be
And what they're doing,
My wife who's sitting in bed alone.
One more day I won't see them,
Good or bad,
Absent father.
Living in airports.
If all the time I waited came together,
How much time would I have?
And what would I do with it to make me a better man?

© Poem Fix 2012


Siblings After Supper

Parents retreat to the living room
Playing Broadway show records,
South Pacific, Carousel, Fiddler
While children clean up after dinner.
The daughter, with rising resentment,
Washes the dishes,
Gazing out the kitchen window at the world and its promise of
Boys and escape.
The oldest son,
Fresh from football victory,
His curled locks combed just so,
Shirtless, joking,
Dries the pans,
Cracks the damp towel near
His sister's rear.
Little middle man clears the table,
The easy job,
Moving the plates to the counter,
Sweeping crumbs into his hand,
Squirting blue on the table and
Wiping the streaks to pass inspection,
Then running upstairs to Jules Verne.
The last, too young for chores,
Getting ready for bed,
Doesn't wonder about injustice,
But hums along to Then You May Take Me to the Fair,
Soundtrack of their lives,
Wafting through the house
With the destined future nostalgia of
Place, time, comfort.

© Poem Fix 2012


Talking About Murder

The couple next to me at the counter is
Talking about murder.
I'm sure of it.
She says, No one deserves it more than he does.
He says, Accidents happen.
I try to ignore them,
Concentrate on my eggs,
Sip coffee.
But my ears are tuned to their huddle,
She says, I don't feel guilty about it.
He says, No one will know.
I look around to see if anyone else has heard,
But the rest of the diner is chirping with mundane conversation.
I chance a glance at the man,
Long black hair, strong nose.
Why does he seem familiar?
He catches me looking at him,
And I wonder if he's now sizing me up for elimination, as well.
How much does he think I overheard?
I ask the waiter for my check and hand him my credit card,
But now the man and woman are aware of me.
A wall of coldness rises between us.
I act nonchalant and check my phone, eye the ceiling,
Pretend I don't know anything,
And wonder if they were talking about me in the first place.

© Poem Fix 2012
Image by Tatmouss


George Shot Lennie

When George shot Lennie
Loneliness ensued,
As it is with all of us when we
Lose something close,
Lover, friend, dog, fish, dream.
Closeness to an object or an idea
Resists easy abandonment.
We cling to them like
Bad habits,
Unable to shirk,
Unwilling to release.
Memories, etched and ingrained,
Holding on no matter what,
Because we know instinctively
That a part of ourselves
Fades, crumbles, disintegrates
When a connection, good or bad,
Goodbye old friend, we mutter.
Adios my ball, my chain, my enemy, my tether.
Then welcome a quiet acquaintance,
And wonder how to survive without the
Remnant of spirited companionship.

© Poem Fix 2012
Photo: Image Entertainment, Of Mice and Men, Lon Chaney Jr. and Burgess Meredith


I Do

At the last second,
Just before I'm supposed to say, I do,
I wonder what would happen if I say, I don't,
Because that's what's in the back of my throat
Waiting to get out,
I do.
Two words, so definitive,
And if believed and upheld,
Would mean the end of everything I know,
And the beginning of promises, hopes, ideas.
I consider saying, I don't,
I really think about it,
Or about saying nothing at all,
Making up my own vows on the spot.
But a woman is staring at me,
Perplexed at my hesitation.
Behind her, friends and family are waiting.
But for what?
For me to echo words I'm not sure I can support?
To simply get on with it so they can start drinking?
The official stares at me, nodding, smiling.
His eyes are trying to reassure me, as if to say,
It's OK to be worried, to not be sure,
But say the words already, will ya?
There will be plenty of time later to
For now, hell, what is it I'm supposed to say?
What is it that's making me dizzy and to lose all feeling in my feet?
I don't,
But I do.

© Poem Fix 2012
The Marriage of Tristram and Isoude Les Blanches Mains by Edward Burne-Jones


Dog Food

I forget to feed the dog
So he sits next to me,
Looking forlorn,
Throwing his eyes at me as if to say,
Don't forget about me.
His stomach tells him something is wrong,
But I've forgotten, busy with human things,
Not to be worried with a canine's appetite.
But to him, hungry, dependent,
This is all there is.
Eating, playing, sleeping.
He's never known physical love,
Forever absent from females and testicles.
If only life was that simple for everyone,
But for the hunger,
A gnawing, roiling, belly fierce.
I finally remember, apologize, and
Leap to fill his bowl with
Sorrow and envy.

© Poem Fix 2012
 Photo by Ohiopetwatch


Typing Exam

The teacher turns off the lights and
Starts talking.
She says, Type what I say.
Darkness conceals the keys and
Mutes the sound of manual typewriters being struck
And the occasional humming of a Selectric,
Typeball clicking.
Cheating is impossible.
We knew this was coming.
The U above the J.
The C down and left under the F.
Slow down.
Think this through.
Picture the keys in your mind.
But the teacher talks fast.
She says, The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog, and
Pack my box with five dozen liquor jugs,
Which makes us laugh.
If typing in blinding black is a high school ritual,
Then why do I still feel so alone
In crowded rooms,
And at every turn of the day?
Night obscures the unknown
And enriches it with longing.

© Poem Fix 2012
 Photo by Etan J. Tal



I wait for you in the deli down the street,
Anticipating, hoping, uneasy,
Trying to blend in because I don't intend to buy anything.
Time sucks at the tickets in my pocket.
They won't be worth much in a few minutes.
Is it legal to scalp them?
No matter.
A guy a few chairs away with a
Messenger bag and dark greased-back hair
Is staring at me,
I look away, but return to see his eyes still drilling into me,
I get up to confront him but
He looks past me and
I realize he was flirting with a girl
Sitting behind me.
Where are you?
Is this the lesson I have so long deserved,
Or just the second misunderstanding of the day?

© Poem Fix 2012
 Photo by Poem Fix



At 77th and 5th
I stop to take a picture with my barely functioning camera,
A building reflected in a puddle,
Taxi speeding by,
The park behind me,
Leaves thinking of change.
Tired, I walk a few more blocks and
Rest on a green wood bench
Across from scaffolding,
Twins in a stroller,
A teen wearing a Kong is King shirt.
A woman walks past,
Then turns back and approaches me with concerned eyes,
Extending a dollar.
She says, Here you go.
I'm not homeless, I say.
She keeps the money out and stares at me hard.
You look like you could use it, she says.
I shake my head and simply say, No.
She shrugs, pockets the dollar, and walks away,
Leaving me to wonder who I am,
And thinking I should have taken the money and
Used it to line my birdcage.
I don't have a bird.

© Poem Fix 2012
 Photo by Poem Fix