Vox Populi

A Public Sphere for Poetry, Politics, and Nature

Patricia Spears Jones: an American haze

“Of thunder clouds, cracks and volunteers”
Trumpeter lilies argue the loudest scents -- you could wrap
a fiesta with that smell
 
and when done, you will know you’re at a funeral parlor
and tears are falling    falling
 
stars brighten dancing figures—the ones that Jasper Johns
remixes, oh elderly DJ – got that pepper in his pocket
 
who knows these people in the desert: volunteers
come with food & water left for desperados — the
      menwomenchildren
stumbling into an American haze
 
they too, these volunteers, are illegal, told to leave
the desert on foot printed even as the menwomenchildren
mark the earth calling on insects, birds and beasts to
       follow
to gather    to take what is left of the stumbled bodies
 
The border between good and evil can be porous
or hard as steel or an ideology of hatred — the country
is full of ideologues and the border cracks.

Author’s note: the first line is a quote from Brenda Hillman

Copyright 2019 Patricia Spears Jones

Patricia Spears Jones (born 1951) is is the author of four collections of poetry: Painkiller, The Weather That Kills, Femme du Monde, and A Lucent Fire: New and Selected Poems. A native of Arkansas, she lives in New York City.

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