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Free form poetry.

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Rope

It hangs there, the knot fashioned neatly, calling me

like my mother did when I was out past sunset

running with the fellas…even a few girls.

We played in the street, living free then. But those days are gone.

Forever.

Each shift, negative contact, complaint, or

snide comment from those I serve

draws each loop tighter, choking away what little air that remains.

I cannot be sure anyone would bother to cut me down.

A lone truth that stings.

What is it that brings me back each day?

Much to live for, sure, but for the others, not me.

Is that really true?

Blasts from my past, from lives I watched expire,

swing the rope back and forth, gently at first.

An evil grin

on my weathered face

grows impatient…

hoping the wooden beam

the rope is affixed to

cannot support my weight.

–C.L.Swinney (c) 2017

Joe

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Joe:

Blood, and other stuff in my veins, is lethargic. I negotiate a kiosk and lumber toward the bevy of people lined up like candy bars in a vending machine, some anxious and some fearful, to be selected. A myriad of lifestyles gather in a tumbler seeking a reason to punch the clock another day. A loud gum chewer smacks and twirls surveying temptation, while the rest of us grovel with sullied thoughts. The espresso gadget’s clamor infuriates my needs, since it’s not for me as it chimes for another. My time comes. My heart palpitates without the need for narcotics. Then caffeine, and whatever I adulterate it with, is stirred, always clock-wise, immediately drawing my palate erect. Cautiously I cradle my tin cup up to my lips and tip ever so slightly.