Zumwalt Poems Online

plenty of structure

plenty of structure

repeat every action
            deftly
            neatly
            perfectly
until its actuality sinks --
deeply embedded into experience
making the way safe
for any other action

she felt so very much alone growing up
that she is uncertain she ever made it
she understood so little then
that she easily accepts false knowledge now
holding onto it more firmly than she has ever been held

the past
stumbles around
a
run-
down
down-
town                 disoriented
sometimes getting on a bus
only to be chased back into the street

not feeling safe and not far away
the present stays locked in an air conditioned hotel
facing the window
trying to recognize the homeless vagabond below

she thinks thinking will solve her problems
but doesn't want to think about it
she looks for a solution
where she can see it all
without ever having to look

backing away from the window
 driven be the unclear image that remains
   checking the doorknob as well as the latch
     present makes a promise
       that
         it's going to be the last time
 

-zumwalt (1991)

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