At the intersection of what has always been and what might be,
A short teenage girl stretches tall, centre stage,
Her favourite blouse of red and white stripes complete with floppy bow
Distracts only slightly from her deliberately punc-tu-a-ted words,
Shared into a screechy mic atop the old oak podium.
Harsh amateur spotlight provides a momentary halo,
Trades her dark chestnut hair for light ashy blonde.
The change mimics her rehearsed act of defiance,
Trading natural, absolute shyness
For feigned, casual confidence.
A fledgling leader addressing her assembled, disheveled, constituents,
Before fifth bell dismisses classes for the day.
One rounded, one jagged.
Puzzle pieces never able to click-fit.
Don’t make trouble, I begged,
Never understanding she didn’t.
Her heart broken in shards, impossible to mend.
My wrists cut in bloody despair.
She salved, bandaged my wounds
Before fading from view.
Many’s the night you’ve walked these same miles, without ever lifting from your chair.
Dreams like loosed cobblestones, a path crumbling underneath your worn, hobo shoes.
Brief solace sometimes sought, diversions for your wearied soul.
Slippery side streets and names you no longer remember.
We huddle cuddle close in the peeling-paint-framed-storefront,
Sheltered briefly, only briefly, from the sideways stares of passersby.
Safe from showers, drip drip rain that stains the sidewalk,
And washes away the pastel chalky hopscotch
We drew to decorate our unfeathered nest.
Harold lives contentedly, his neighbors not included.
He sees their dreams of grandeur, grandly self-deluded.
Locals squirm and shiver, don’t know how to dress amid the general squalor.
Harold Haberdasher goes to work, grabs stumbling apple jacks by the collar,
Turns them into genuine gentlemen
Even gentle Benjamin
With his quirky regimen
Of gritty diner coffee and high voltage special Ks,
His lucky charms of power for surviving lightless days.
Crack sidewalk traffic staggers, this street life ain’t for kids
It’s iron-taste-in-the-mouth nonexistence on these back alley skids.
Lillian at dVerse Poets Pub asked for some brand name noodling. My inspiration was Special K which as most of you will know is street language for the horrible drug Ketamine. I mixed up the rhyme scheme to match the mixed up world of the setting.