Listening for What the Walls Might Say
I shelter in the shade of a simple city stanchion
scrubbed clean of spray paint, no hidden messages
embedded in graffiti’s clamor,
no angry chorus of complaints
or self-asserting signatures. Once,
not long ago, the luster of their neon tweets
made living possible, built a kind of harmony
from chaos, a frame to offer common ground.
Those kinds of times make one embrace
anything the heartless west can offer;
join, clasp, and serve whatever cause
bestows some sense of family, camaraderie or care,
trust false gods and all the tender sounding prophets
who write their names on subway walls.
They got me through, till I clawed out
and fell from bitter want into this better life
I am so thankful to receive.
Later, I’ll walk on home, eat a platter of fried chicken,
served with ice cream and a scoop of love,
but right now, back against this pillar,
I fail to fathom the weave of fragile happenstance.
I am still listening for what the walls might say,
What enabled this bright singing? And though
I can’t help smiling at sweet fortune’s turn, I wonder
if those vanished urban day-glow scribblings
are done with prophesy and me?
Christine Irving writes novels, plays and travel pieces, and you can sometimes find her in her studio pasting together a collage, though her favorite métier is poetry. Christine is the author of: Be a Teller of Tales, Sitting on the Hag Site: A Celtic Knot of Poems, You Can Tell a Crone by Her Cackle, and The Naked Man (on Amazon and Kindle). Her newest work Return to Inanna is undergoing its final proof.