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Saturday, July 04, 2009


by Catherine McGuire

This is no tourist trailer parked beside us:
a cold dawn fingers
rusted ladder rungs curving
up to the dented roof, open-air “attic”
piled with summer clothes in garbage bags,
a coil of hose, buckets that might hold oats
or old shoes. Their featureless aluminum box
wheeled onto blacktop off the main road,
to the fringe of this roadside park,
among the Bounders' and Outlanders'
expandable rooms and sleekly furled awnings
hasn’t moved since Wall Street hit a pothole
got a flat and swerved
sending their lives off the edge
they‘d spent years clinging to.

The bike tied to the back
is unhooked for the graveyard shift
at the Highway Gas ’N Grill.
She cooks silently at a charcoal grill
the hot plate burnt out, she told me last week.
The white poly deck chairs and tv trays
create the dining room
that doesn’t fit inside. They eat
with their backs to the rest of us - she's slim,
he's hefty, with long gray-streaked hair.
They don’t socialize; don’t use the concrete clubhouse
or showers, or play bingo or cards.
Brown and green empties roll loose
tinkle like windchimes under the wheels
as cedars waggle admonitory fingers
over the rust-speckled, once mobile

I hear them inside, though.
Morning is just another excuse to drink;
noon a rendevous with Oprah;
evening a cold bike ride to the edge
of the interstate which is endlessly
leaving them behind.

Catherine McGuire now peeks at the news through sheltering fingers. A third of her poetry is political; the rest is about Nature - before it's too late.