Catherine Chandler's Poetry Blog

Monday, October 6, 2014

Near a Freeway Ramp by Kevin Durkin

Bayardo Martínez, a street vendor in Hialeah, Fla., bristles under what he sees as onerous restrictions that require him to keep on the move. Jason Henry for The Wall Street Journal     

Near a Freeway Ramp
by Kevin Durkin

When night takes over day,
I see him on the street
peddling a huge bouquet
of roses in the heat.
He waves it while he strolls
to take in every eye,
then sprints if someone rolls
a window down to buy.

How many does he sell?
His hands are often full.
Under his cap how well
he seems to keep his cool,
while cars, departing, throw
exhaust and dust behind,
and cars approaching, slow,
their windshields sunset-blind.

His wife stands on the walk,
waiting for him to quit.
I've never seen them talk
or either of them sit.
Imagine love like theirs,
the roses in their hands
wilting while traffic stares
and makes too few demands.

(from Los Angeles in Fog, Finishing Line Press, 2013)


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