Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Jackhammering on an Old Woman's Balcony

An old woman scurries to clean her balcony the enth time today.
I just dropped another piece of rubble in her geraniums.
Why wait until it gets any worse?
She'll get a start on things, while there's still time.

And the tedium keeps her busy.
Not much longer now, surely.
At her age, keeping the mess to a minimum
should take her to the end of her days.

She measures not more than three feet tall, with her back hunched.
So light and brittle, to pick up a bowling ball would make her whole body crumble, from her hands to her feet.
But her fingers still grasp, and the world isn't through with her yet!

Her broom sweeps drearily, perhaps melancholy.
She looks at the ground: where she can still turn her neck.
Her eyes, a weak gray-white, like cauliflower.
She pushes off the dust and dirt to fall down below,
which gets caught up in a gust of wind-
Fly away!!

All the past gone,
like the worn away foundations of concrete.
The people,
The palaces she might have seen,
when she was younger and braver, scattered.
She was once not this scrivelled, dried up husk.

I didn't mean to smash her flowerpot.
I would have hosed off her floor with a high-powered hose for her.
"We're going to clean the balconies when we're all finished, just so you know."
I wanted to explain.
I felt bad.
Does she hear me?

She is sitting, smoking a cigarette, staring off at another time.

That was a different time,
Was that just yesterday?
I thought I remembered something falling and something scraping, and there was such a mess to deal with. You should have seen!
Who knows when anything is anymore? For heavens sake!

They need to stop giving children such weapons of mass destruction!
@Copyright 2005 SirBarrett


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