Railroad Tracks

And suddenly I wanted to throw my own shirt off and go outside

And scream to the wind “you won’t let me die!”

You won’t let me die because I am a woman

Because I am young

Because I am sentient enough to remember my own name

Because I am not a frequent flier in a multi billion dollar system designed to help but instead turns out people through a revolving door that only stops for people with pockets deep enough

Grief is a fetal position

Without a shirt

Freezing

Grief is calling for help

For a person that he cannot recognize

But knows is cold, desolate, isolate.

Nobody answers

Because he has white hair

Because he does not know his own name

Because he has been thrown from the revolving door of greed to be spread out by a train track awaiting the cruel fate of our world thieving every memory and every conscious cell in his body

Because the system is broken

Because society is broken

Because the world is broken

Alone from others and unknown from self.

Frozen.

[This poem was written on 24 February 2019. RIP to anonymous, an older adult found dead, frozen, with no jacket and hospital sticky pads still on his chest, along the train tracks behind an emergency homeless shelter I worked at. May he find the warmth that never should have left his soul.]

Blue in Green

Pine cones resting under palm trees

Dragonflies undeterred by the

Humbling, slight coastal breeze

I am camouflaged, but somehow seen,

A Stranger in a Dream

Monochrome granules of sand

Infiltrating, hitching rides

Wherever they can

Monotone grains of time drop in slow motion

As I ask you, How Deep Is The Ocean?

Uncertainty hugs the air

Suffocating, as I think of you

In the ocean, over there

Two green duffel bags, only possessions and,

A reflection of a Lonely Woman

Her voice sifts sweetly against the harangue

Of the M249s booming down range

A screen separates us, for you an ocean sky above

States of land/mind away, but still

Close Enough for Love

[This poem was written on 15 September 2020 while in quarantine at my first duty station. It was influenced by Marian McPartland’s Twilight piano jazz album.]