Hey everybody. I hope you enjoy this poem from my sophomore year in high school.
On the upside, it was one i read on NPR!
Meditations on a Dying Woman
The streets are overcrowded with salable goods
and people too sick to move
and people too sick to live - without someone else
telling them how ...
In the midst of all the refuse, rotting fruits and animals,
struggling workers tearing at their bonds that they’ve been told
Walking along on the street of metaphors,
between the beggars painted gold, dancing away their lives, for a buck
and all the almost corporeal odors, that have been here so long
they pay rent ... a woman dies.
On the corner of Society Avenue and Universe Drive,
In Symbolism, Illinois, someone falls and can’t get up.
A scream wriggles free from the claustrophobic crush
of the Communists and heterosexuals. Shop owners sweep their brooms.
Kids just out of school stand atop boxes preaching
to their congregation of the unfeeling masses about a Utopia.
And a cancer patient, female, age 32, slips on the sweetly disguised black ice,
feels her feet slide out from under her
feels gravity and other natural laws betray her and laugh cruelly.
Her head strikes the corner of a box containing oranges all the way from Flahrida.
Suddenly there is enough room for her to die.
Meanwhile, prophets preach, children complain, and children’s programming plays on.
A man who had been playing guitar and singing about freedom with responsibility
puts down his yogurt and rushes to the poor woman.
“Those poor people” grumble the suits as they step over around her and move on.
The guitar playing man lifts her head off the cold inhospitable sidewalk.
Her blood bids her body goodnight and abandons ship
her red blood pumps from the heart to the outside world
and her benefactor realizes he has her life in his hands
he resists the urge to rinse them off
but the blood won’t stop
bleeding unclotted and he’s scared
and prophets without a god preach about a perfect world
and a woman dies
and good Americans stand proudly with their country
and a woman lies bleeding on the unsympathetic concrete path.
Her life is in his hands and he can’t afford to wash it off.
He wants to comfort her and her breath comes belabored now.
He begins to sing softly to her
he’ll meet her in heaven, he swears up and down,
he’ll see her through thick and thin
this is nothing, he’ll see her next week right here, same time, same place
and she can help him sing of a world where
a man can find space to live without having to die.
She can help him, he promises, and she begins to relax ...
Slowly. Gently. Softly. Like satin sheets sliding off a pre-made bed.
He wipes the tears from his eyes
and her life onto his denim pants. One more stain ...
And suddenly, he knows he will sing again
sing to all the self styled prophets, saviors, rioters, and protestors,
who didn’t know a woman can die.
He sings; and he accompanies himself with his old guitar.
And the body is beautiful and serene and is swept away into the sea of metaphors
and the shop owner comes out from his store
and wonders how those oranges will ever sell now
with the blood stains and all ...
by Joshua Schwartz,