from a greyhound window during layover
she walks the night streets of shrevesport|
under cover of gaping black shadows
where aging street lights faded and died.
an ashy-grey ghost, skin gritty
with survival learned
at the strangling clutch of her nomadic life.
once upon a time she might have been
the color of rich cuban coffee lightened with a splash of ivory cream.
silvery kinky curls rebel
against the confinement of her ragged-edged panama hat.
shredding baling twine secures a faded canvas beach tote
slapping against her thighs
as a chilled night wind whooshes through the alley
twisting her thrift-store polyester skirt around psoriasis-chapped shins.
with worn-out mules upon her feet,
possessing the stealthy instincts of eons-ago hunters,
she shuffles from dumpster to dumpster.
in whispered tones with husky honeyed drawl
she converses with companions others cannot see.
imagine some wiley forked-tongued devil called her ' sweetheart '
imagine some cuddly sweet-cheeked little called her ' mama '
imagine some prada-shod bureaucrat calls her ' useless '
imagine some clerical-collared black-robed preacher will call her ' anonymous '
as they lay her in potter's field.
the bus rumbles to life.
i swallow swelling tears.
there but for the grace of god ...
© 2015 jamieclaire
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