The Twitty Street Muses
by Michele Waering


There is a dusty Muse for bewilderment,
for rickety-sticks houses, where skunk cabbage
softens the outlines of dead factories and long
gone walls. Freight trains run day and night past
uncoupled cars left on sidings where children crouch.

There is a motley Muse for trash. We pick up stale,
fluted bottle caps, flip spalled baseball cards–
make our pocket-world from these.
Who looks for us small and curious
silhouetted against the drive-in screen?
Down the hill, chrome speakers clip on car windows;
up here, in wishful box-cars, we peek out
at silent movies, and all around in the quiet
of heat and dust, the earth soaks up the evening.

There is a candy Muse for suspicious kids sent
outside to play. We collect stubborn beads fallen
from cheap, charming necklaces between
railroad tracks and dull-lit kitchens, indignant
that shadow men smile silent movies at our mothers.






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