At the Corner of 110th and Broadway

(for Laure-Anne Bosselaar)

 
They wear blue latex gloves, the people in blue uniform.
Six cops. That’s what it takes to subdue one woman,
limping with a rotten hip,  pork chops in her blouse –
a swoop of police in flashing cars to handcuff one.
Six cops. That’s what it takes to subdue one woman,
confused about the fuss, so many people watching and lights,
a swoop of police in flashing cars to handcuff one
lady with a gray pony tail. She asks an officer, which door?
Confused about the fuss, so many people watching, and lights
blinding her to the stockboy who sees her stuff her blouse.
The lady with gray ponytail asks an officer, which door?
 
A stockboy calls, decides her hunger requires force,
one muddled grocery-boy sees her stuff her blouse
at the moment his stomach rumbles. Surrounded by food
he calls, decides her hunger requires force.
They wear blue gloves, come in blue uniform
the moment her stomach rumbles, surrounded by food,
limping with a rotten hip, pork chops in her blouse.
She remembers her boy at home, the day he was born, led to life
by blue latex gloves, by people in blue uniform.

from The Cortland Review, Issue 47, March 2010