Election year, Blake’s poison tree
infecting the water system.
On the counter a pamphlet proclaims:
White people, wake up, take pride in your race….
While bicycling Wisconsin’s county trunks,
my knee, that intelligent joint
that adjudicates between motion and rest,
has ordered a stop here at ‘Bert’s By The Lake’
where silhouettes slip into shadows,
and an afternoon game show drones on T.V.;
diabetes and ischemic stroke full on the menu;
all eyes in the place like opened switch blades
pointed towards me, so I chose discretion,
don’t ask why amidst all this bucolia
does beauty seem to be the song
of an unfamiliar, untrusted bird;
or why such hatred of anything feminine;
nor do I try for common ground, Instead
I slip into a booth quiet as I can,
my silly, cleated shoes chirping as I walk.