SHORT CUT – free verse

01 Apr

Short Cut

opened the electric bill,
got the yellow notice.
too much after staring
all August at the unplugged
air conditioner, hot to touch.
put on sportshirt, walked
down Fort Avenue, out of the
neighborhood and up Light.
went to the Gas and Electric
in the new city center
over sky sidewalks and
through pigeon clouds.
forehead clouded.
lobby crowded, found
the directory and then
the pretty cubicle with
Joppa and Frederick scenes.
listened long to perfect logic,
economic update on the nation,
and lots of canned sugar.
shouted some but what to say
against the perfect triangle
of supply, demand, and cost.

left office quietly
down through stairways, crowds, and streets
to the harbor and the pier end
where water slapped the pilings
and Federal Hill wriggled in heat
and no buildings shadowed the pier.
hot feet, hot face, and hot,
saw the brown green Patapsco
swirling and dimpling with
brown green highlights, unshadowed
except beneath the pier.
thought of thousands of concrete steps
around the harbor, home
and decided to swim.

so a newspaper photographer
playing with a new long lens
in a window of the severalth floor
got the picture for the back page.
but how to explain,
was only swimming home?


This poem is set in Baltimore, Maryland around its inner harbor, for those who do not know this place.

Port of Call and other poems. The Caliban Press, Baltimore, MD. 1975.

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Posted by on April 1, 2016 in Free Verse



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