Do I mutter looking down, passing
opposite direction on the sidewalk?
You might help me up, fallen. Might
knock me down, gotten up—a hint,
last week the stray bullet punched
a daylight instant in a young woman’s
heart. That tragedy shrinks
my ambitions? An anvil dropped
on my bunched and squirming
piglet dreams? Maple, cherry,
or poplar hardwoods against this
soft-headedness, their leafy
cell work prettier than gray matter
stuffed under a haircut. Maybe
below the city on a train pushes against
shafts of ancient, stinking atmosphere
she imagined fresh life with trees other
air pushes, in shade minnowing around.



George Shelton





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