Sunday, April 15, 2012


I've got one day
a week
to get out
of my lair
and into the jungle
to line up the prey
I'll devour
over the next six days.
is spent
working for the hole
I shit in.
I'm an animal
of the worst sort--
old, trapped,
but still needing
to go on.

It's gotten warm
on this savannah,
and so I sit
among all the fleeter creatures,
legs, knees and shoulders arthritic,
teeth are long and mostly gone,
heart, though quite diseased, resting
for the next quick pump, the next challenge.
I look at them all,
the female and male:
young ones, old ones, fat ones, thin ones,
ass' pert or like Montana mules,
I measure them,
gauge the distance;
only one out of a thousand
looks like it would make a good meal,
but the old beast must shop
at any store that's closest, must make do
with meat that's available,
no matter the cut and damn
the cost.

Most who pass
give me not a second thought;
they do not see the madness
in my eyes, or the hunger,
certainly not the desperation.
I've not gotten this old
by showing my cards,
only playing my hand.

A little girl decides to stop
and plop down
on the sidewalk near me;
her mother tries to yank her up
by an arm; her father looks on
seemingly helpless.
The little girl's face
is dirty, smudged with her last
snack. Her defiant blue eyes
find mine. We look at each other
locked in a fine standoff.
The girl's forefinger is stuck
so far up her nose
that barely her knuckle shows.
The mother looks at me,
and yanks harder.
She tells the father
to grab the other arm
which he does.
The little girl drags her feet
and looks over her shoulder
at me. Unfortunately,
I don't have another decade
to wait for her.
Excuse me,
a gentle voice said,
may I sit in this seat?
I swivel my head
right into the eyes
of an eighty-five year old.
By all means,
please, I reply.
I watch as she places
her three-pronged cane
into a space that allows her
to settle safely.
My mouth

Norman Savage
Greenwich Village, 2012

1 comment:

  1. reads like an old Fritz Lang movie - have you ever seen the picture called "M"? An old Peter Lorie vehicle. Check it out. They rarely make movies like that anymore.