Vox Populi

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Robert Walicki: The Ride

We have to go now, she needs them my mother says. She really needs them.      
30 minutes before the pharmacy closes

and we’re snaking back streets. No right turns, waiting on reds,
for a woman in muddy jeans to wave us past this aftermath—

Slag of backfill, jackhammers shattering. Everything here is an act 
of excavation. 
But today, I want to talk to her about her mother. 

How I thought my grandmother was a badass
after arm wrestling me for a pack of Swedish fish.

I want to ask her about the peacocks. If she remembers
the summer they escaped from the zoo

and her backyard became a blanket of lost feathers, of blue and gleaming,
wondering how something that beautiful could ever be flightless.

Your sister she says, wasn't always like this
the excavator behind us is growling as if it wants something more than 
the earth could give.

I think of bodies, of tunneling light,
the show on reincarnation I watched last night

and the story my grandmother told us after the stroke
I don’t want you yet, the voice said

How many lifetimes does it take to die?
A week ago I nailed our Lady of Guadalupe

to my mother's wall, radiant and glistening in the hidden air of heaven.
My sisters eyes are radiant in her desire for oblivion. 

We stand outside in the lot at Walgreens,
as if at the gate at the end of our lives. 

The light inside, fluorescent and luminous in its blindness.
My mother is reaching out; her hand is on the door.

Copyright 2022 Bob Walicki

Poet and licensed plumber Robert Walicki writes and works in Pittsburgh, PA. His poems have appeared in a number of journals including Fourth River, Uppagus, Vox Populi, and Chiron Review. His latest full length collection, Fountain, was just released from Main Street Rag Press.

Robert Walicki

3 comments on “Robert Walicki: The Ride

  1. Deborah DeNicola
    June 9, 2022

    WOW! I love this poem. Just ordered his book. The flow is so natural and the sentiment beneath it, quite intense.Thank you for introducing me to this poet!


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This entry was posted on June 9, 2022 by in Health and Nutrition, Poetry, spirituality and tagged , , , , , .

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