Friday, October 28, 2005

12th House Moon

It’s a gathering of ghosts.
My place.
Sundown.
Light all the candles you want.
They aren’t leaving.

The vast Missouri sky,
hot rain, a windblown gaggle of tired women
waiting outside the prison
for the exact minute
visiting hours start.

I see
a pair of brown hands
strong and elegant,
dark eyes brilliant
with perception.

All this is
here to stay.

“Momma, you tried to show me
how to be a man but
with all due respect
that’s like me
trying to show you
how to be a woman.”

He never thought about
not having
a father until the police
asked for a name
and laughed at him
when he didn’t know.

Just another poor ……

And as a child
ate church charity
dinners or dug in restaurant bins
when it was bad
and learned to drive
by stealing cars.

Relative to relative,
like used clothes…
he came from the country
to the city
and learned what it took to survive.
Age seven? Eight?
And nobody to talk to.
Nobody to talk to.

Morality is the privilege
of the fed,
the loved.

The world gives up nothin’.
Nothin’ you can’t steal.

I can’t convey these things
or how they haunt and wound.
They congeal in my throat.
They freeze my fingers on the keys.
It makes me so damn angry.
So damn sad.

This is singular and true -
loving anyone once
means loving them
always.
It means
they gather
at the 12th House Moon
at my place.

1 comment:

Koru's Daughter said...

This is a haunting poem. The line: "learned to drive by stealing cars." This works on so many levels. I did not do it lieterally, like he did, but, in one way or another, we have all done this. Somewhere in our souls, we are all impoverished... so why is compassion so lacking in today's society?