Turning Point

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Site design: Skeleton

Sample Poems by Wendy Drexler



Unemployment

Persistence 5, Tenacity 10
-Poster on the office wall

It's 8:08, I'm twenty-
third in line, waiting
for 8:30, opening
time. Someone hands
me a clipboard form
to sign, my name,
my social, and we
are sent to sit side-
by-side on green
foam chairs. We are
laid-off, off-course,
out-sourced, all of us
cast up like rainbow
trout, red-capped or
blue, Birkenstocked,
tattooed, texting or
staring or reading
the weekly Phoenix,
scrim of hope. After
this, we can take a
workshop to interview
with power, critique
a resume, consider
maturity vs. age.
I'm three weeks out,
the writs of work
fade away-file
names, lunch mates,
watch list, paycheck,
pride. I must be my
own second cup
of coffee, strong.



Parking Lot

Cyclone fence, the daylight spill
of grocery bags casually snagged
empty on the bare corset of a branch.
I look out at the weak light of November.
A starling on the Norway maple
in the parking lot shakes
itself out all over, spangle-singing
into the wind's wide mouth.
I eat a bacon cheeseburger in the car.



Bolt Bus

Outside the wide, wide window.
slurry of greywoodsky
a little blue. I, too, am, too,
and subject to revision, patching
potholes in my storyline.
I'm retired, I say to the office
parks through mirror glass.
How expansive, bare trees of winter!
Traffic rustles past as the Bolt
bumps on the black canals of highway.
I'm a fish thrashing in a bucket
of daylight. My life is moving
faster than my life.



Mile-High Home For The Aged

For lunch they wear clean white shirts,
Brooks Brothers jackets, everyone's hair
smoothed back. Nurses wheel them in
so we can sing "O Beautiful" for them.
Someone sips his water, puts it down.
Someone can't stop scratching.
Has he lost his ballpoint pen?
Someone is wiping eye crust
from his brow's fruited plain.
Cracked alabaster toenails gleam. Let them all
clap the offbeat's spacious skies
as long as they like.
Let them sing loud majesty, off key,
or whispered, disconcertingly bel canto,
voices flocking like swallows, shedding
their grace on me.