Friday, January 3, 2014

Richard Schnap- Two Poems


I have seen your face before,
Your broken eyes, your damaged smile,
Wandering aimlessly in the corridors
Of your crippled mind, lost,
Confused, at the supermarket

With your food stamp soul, on buses
With your disabled dreams, wondering
If a car horn is a sign from God,
Whether it means the apocalypse
Is near or if it’s just another random

Blow that makes no sense or makes
Too much sense, the final piece
Of a puzzle while you watch the world
Without ever finding the secret
Of a stoplight’s kiss, a mailbox’s

Curse. Yes, I have seen your
Face before, outside and alone,
One step away from discovering
The truth but ten thousand miles
From ever really knowing for sure.


I watch the cashiers on their morning breaks
Chain-smoking while scratching off lottery tickets
And the truck drivers delivering their daily loaves
Humming to ballads on the radio from their youth
While the elderly risers purchase their papers
To find if someone they knew once has died
As mothers juggle their babies and breakfasts
Hoping they have enough food stamps on hand

And in each of their eyes I seem to see traces
Of the children they once were a long time ago
Who believed in blowing out birthday candles
Or winning the contest of a wishbone split
And as I stand in the checkout line waiting
Glancing at the faces of celebrities in disgrace
I feel in my heart the bittersweet wonder
Of the human drama in this place we call home

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