A Public Sphere for Poetry, Politics, and Nature
The red-faced guard, his scant hair
pressed like a wish against his boney pate,
sat uniformed at the library gate
sternly blocking the un-elect like me.
After just a brief exchange, he flipped
my morning equanimity to rage
as he recited rules. I wanted to pound
the countertop. Instead, I clenched my jaw
and, pouting, did as he instructed, then tried
to read my book. But I found I carried something
new: a worm, a warmth, a fuse. For hours,
that feeling ran like lust through muscle and bone,
my whole body. Inside my head, I yelled
at him, complained to his boss. Only later
did I calm myself with thoughts that this man
must also daily rage in silence
as fortunate, snot-nosed students passed
his desk and him—the students unseeing, or,
if speaking to him, talking down. I listened.
They did. Of course, he was angry, ready to pounce.
And so he soured my morning, anger passed
along, pulled from a well of disrespect
without antidote or golden rule.
Life’s not poetry mostly, but nagging hurt.
Copyright 2018 Sandy Solomon