Thursday, October 20, 2011

a poem for the man at the border crossing

Is that your bucket? Do you rent this space?
by Kimberly Pye

I don't think I'm being
too cynical here
to drop the five yuan
into your bucket
and then wonder 
if you,
without your legs
but for a few inches
(enough to hold you upright
and scoot betwixt
the taxi lines)
and without your arms
but for a few inches
(enough to hold
your casino sized plastic bucket
now quite fluffy
with crumpled bills
and the thudding jingle
of coins in the bottom),
maybe, are the puppet
of some greater force--
the slave or whore or what have you--
playing the role
I've seen a thousand times
staged by women and children,
but you?
a worthless 
(not my words!)

I hope
I really hope
whoever he is
lets you keep
enough to eat
and takes you there
and feeds you
so you don't have to eat
like a dog,
the way you're begging now.

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