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BALTIMORE — a tanka string

10 Apr

BALTIMORE

To get off
The crowded bus
I shuffle,
Stretch and lean—
The old straphangers’ dance

Stepping off
The Trailways bus
At Fayette Street
A chilling rain
The fragrance of diesel

Deep in the stacks
At the Enoch Pratt
I sense the ages
Still breathing, intelligent
Pages waiting to be seen

A National Boh
Sweating on its coaster
Cod cakes catching flies
I’m lost in my newest find
At the Peabody Book Store

Lunch at the deli
Next to the fish market
I choose pastrami—
So fine with mustard
And crowds and noise

After working late
In my trudge to the garage
Always this delight—
The moment the sensors click
All the streetlights on at once

Headed north on Charles
In the evening rush hour
Bicyclists pass us by . . .
Inside, my car’s AC
Drowns out the daily madness

Downtown
After a late dinner
We step outside
The street is white-carpeted
Snowglobes around each lamppost

Mid-town arcade
Everyone crowds around
The fun-house mirrors . . .
Any illusion will do
For prisoners of reality

“Things go well,”
My friend says “. . . Well. Well.”
Adjusting his coat sleeve
To hide a soiled cuff
I peer across the street

Fund-raising dinner
Slides of starving children
Flash quickly by—
The tinkle of crystal
And silver almost stops

_______________________

Published in Streetlights (2009) and in First Winter Rain (2010).

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2 Comments

Posted by on April 10, 2015 in Short Verse, Tanka

 

Tags: ,

2 responses to “BALTIMORE — a tanka string

  1. thotpurge

    April 11, 2015 at 1:11 am

    Any illusion will do for prisoners of reality… nice!

    Like

     

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