Stepping out on the ledge
this many floors up
puts things into perspective.
The people become ant size
the rich, the poor
the happy, the sad
appear the same from up here.
Their cars and trucks become
matchbox size toys yet again
to play their parts.
From up here their stories
take place in your imagining
clashing, crashing, crushing.
The violence in you plays out.
Up here the world becomes
The wind, the slant, the sun
flashing on windows
the distant traffic sounds
the stray plane going away
are yours to use
as background for the tale
you’ll tell. Icarus unappreciated,
suddenly Superman, a minute is
passing – the man you launch into
a story they will read carefully,
claiming they saw you all along.
It’s not hard to guess what’s going on
when there’s a couple of police cars,
an ambulance and a firetruck blocking
the intersection. You see people moving
about, saying things you can’t hear, but
there doesn’t seem to be any hurry in
what they are doing. Someone is lying
in the street, the center of attention, but
now there’s very little to do for him or
her. All that’s left is to clean up and move
on, some measuring and some questioning.
That’s all that’s left of whatever happened.
In the end this is just a pause in your day,
one you will mention just in passing when
you get home. It probably will not make
the evening news, but if it does, you’ll say
something about seeing all that commotion
when you were coming back from groceries.
There’s a body in the road, was a body in
the road, an interruption, a pause in your day
and it really wasn’t hard to guess what was
going on – things like this happen all the time.
When the day is finally done
we should roll the credits
for this low budget blockbuster
we are living: first the main
characters and who played
those roles, the big time players,
wives and doctors and the one
or two friends we still have left,
then the minor characters and
those background extras who
played and pushed their way
into our day. After that we need
to quickly run a complete list
of directors and producers, their
associates and assistants, whole
gangs of support folks, key grips,
make-up and costuming, the whole
list, stunts and special effects. Yes,
the list is long and perhaps boring,
but people like to be remembered
and credited with what they did. And
during all that we should play theme
music, something classical, Handel
or Beethoven, big dramatic stuff
that will stay with our audience,
something they can hum to themselves
as they walk out of the dark, empty
theater of our day.
J. K. Durick is a retired writing teacher and online writing tutor. His recent poems have appeared in Literary Yard, Black Coffee Review, Literary Heist, Synchronized Chaos, Madswirl, Journal of Expressive Writing, and Highland Park Poetry.