June 12, 2010

Hattie Wilcox

Down with the Pimps of Peace

His neighbors sometimes weld
late into the evening
a bevy of Harleys
gather 'round the torch
silent, waiting to be jumped
and come back alive, the loud
rumbling seat of power
for those who sleep where they work
scream and fight into the night
disturbances mostly muffled
by square footage big enough
to house a fleet of trucks

In a warehouse he lives alone
behind metal, walls with no windows
content to paint in artificial light
images of happiness and connection
children busy at the beach
holding their mothers' hands
dreaming and building with wet sand
endless sunshine and shadow
rippling in an oily mirage
of no expectations

He reads the Tao, the now
floats in the cool stream of words
living in the books of Tolle, Dyer, Chopra
drinks daily from the overflowing cup
in the club of the pimps of peace
who hawk the warm and sterile
tightly-wrapped bandages of
brainwashing away all extremes
to purge pain from its strongholds
in betrayal, hunger, hope, and desire

He speaks the language of stillness
carries himself like a priest
who many mornings is mired
deep in the heat of chaos
that is the survival of his past
years of childhood beatings
difficult to reconcile even though
he maintains an exterior calm
having passed with flying colors
through the drinking, brawling
balls of confusion years
he long ago put behind him
in the closed closet
with the rest of it

I love him and though
he is out of my sight
he is part of my everyday being
and each day I pray
there are enough books
with enough words
to keep him safe
his guarded heart open
his fragile soul at rest
enough words
to keep his flame
from burning down
before he has a chance
to close his eyes
and accept the touch
of a hand on his skin
to sleep unafraid
and let someone in
his taped-up broken window


Hattie Wilcox's love of poetry and piano led her to songwriting and the 2008 release of her debut CD, Red Bird Tattoo. She has won prize money for her lyrics and has lived to see her first royalty check. She continues to write poetry—her first love. Find out more at http://hattiewilcox.com/

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