2013:Michael Harty:Joyce Street Underpass, Near the Pentagon (poem)

Joyce Street Underpass, Near the Pentagon
Michael Harty

I’m on foot. It’s barely six, the only time
all day the sun will touch this space.
Damp concrete slope, low-ceilinged shelf

beneath the roadway. A vague blanketed shape,
perhaps a movement. Safeway cart
emptied of belongings, left below.

It is how the pueblo people
would have secured themselves for the night,
ladders pulled up, nothing left

for howling scavengers, roaming ghosts
that patrolled the valley and hungered
after their corn, their children.

But see here, I could call up from the sidewalk.
I am no danger. I am cautious, respectful, the one
who hurries past looking over his shoulder;

I, I am the one with valuables to protect.
Silence; a hum and bump of tires.
Farther above, the helicopter traffic has begun.

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