memorial for a brilliant woman

Monday, May 28, 2007

Lakeside on Memorial Day

Show, show, show, the recyclable trash:
piled up pizza boxes, Miller Lite 12 packs.
This is where Avon comes via UPS *ding-dong*
brings whodo parts, motorcycle shit, eBay deals.

Scruffy, skanky men drink beer, smoke, work on cars
wearing wife-beater strappy shirts because they do,
their fat women coming back from Walmart sales
squeezed into sherbert colored polyester shorts.

This is a neighborhood in flux, proud mullets worn
with gangsta baggy pants, wigger sons with babies
on their hips, daughters decked out like hookers,
bright blondes with the blackest boys, or lesbians.

The Mexicans play guitar and soccer, rent plain houses,
silent mustached men who watch and smile, we don’t
smile back, they won’t stay long, can’t speak English,
drive trucks and vans with company logos and ladders.

Old Mrs. Emmet left when they moved in, her people
here since streets were laid down, a gray-haired widow
who waitressed all her life, raised six kids, all gone,
wary and scared of brown skin, she was a republican.

Sold her house to a businessman who quickly rented it
to a bald deputy sheriff and his family, they moved in
yesterday, hung a flag this morning, one son gone to Iraq,
Working in the yard in early heat, a radio plays gospel tunes.

Just over the city line, our county schools are a little better,
the cops tougher, gas and groceries cheaper, but not by much,
everyday seems to bring bad news, a new lottery opportunity,
the chance to make it big, stave off the fear of dying here.

We’re all afraid, even the Libertarian's in faded Volvo’s,
tucked into long-term starter homes, buying in Costco bulk
next to jobless neighbors with empty cupboards, the smell
of barbecue wafts in, we can’t afford to run the air just yet.

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