hip hop sounds
from the lighted porch
a crackle of leaves
echoes of a horn
lingering in the heat
gathered beneath the neon light
one drunken beggar
with an aggressive manner --
clear autumn sky
that still feel familiar --
sparrows gleaning seeds
Her voice echoed down the alley, loudly, bemoaning the hour and situation, switching to an accusatory tone, more strident and ever more aggressive.
Shutting the walk-up loft's door behind him, he quickened his pace.
"We're just saying, Ma'am, there have been complaints." the officer's voice carried a warning - and increasingly annoyed. Two squads were cooling in the alley, just beyond the parking space. One outbuilding shielded their little respite from passersby, perennials and benches, a bird feeders placed with care, belying the bleakness and asphalt their tiny garden was carved out of.
The police cars squatted, clicking and humming quiet radio dispatches unintelligible to those a few feet from it, black and white logos coldly authoritative shining in the street light. As though oblivious, still, to the heightening tension, she carried on.
"Why can't enjoy our birthdays! It's just a little party! Today is both our birthdays; I was born in '54 and I'll be 56, and he was born in '56 and he'll be 54! It's 10-10-10" Her speech was slurred slightly, 'f's' and 's's' a becoming indistinct. The pitch went up another notch. "We can't even celebrate our birthdays?!" Her pleading more incredulous, she began to repeat herself.
He was close now, and taking a breath, he willed himself a non-threatening posture.
Suddenly, the officer's voice shifted, one of a darker meaning. "Ma'am, we've been called out twice. The next time, somebody's going down." All patience reached, you knew he meant business.
At that moment her husband stepped between them. "Whaddya doin', hon? Gettin' into a fight with the cops?" He kept his tone playful in attempt to ease some friction. "I just took the dogs in. We're all goin' in - right now." He directed this order to no one in particular, carefully nonchalant, not wanting to confront the patrolmen in general.
As if on cue, the wife turned on heeland walking off in a huff, a muttered insult in her wake. The situation changed abruptly, from interview to action - the determination had been made.
The young cop riding shotgun next to the sergeant, mostly silent 'til now, began to fumble furiously with his door handle. "What did you say, Ma'am?! Wait a minute, come back here!" He barked the order sharp and quick.
Smiling an embarrassed smile, looking directly now at this rookie, and in his most penitent voice, he said, "Ahh, she's just had too much to drink, is all." He scuffed the toe of his boot along the pavement. Acting the fool a little himself, a little wider and over the top, he offered a sardonic grin. "Gee, officer, guess its time I got control of my bitch."
the voice of Autumn
should never argue
with that of a cop
new faces for parade viewing
arriving each year
somewhat tattered and frayed
in a passing storm
and convenience marts -
in view of the milky way -
no one can make me laugh
the way that she can
on lotus leaves
this world's dewdrops
hot pants and platform shoes -
a dragonfly rests
on her ankle
International Campaign for Tibet - ICT promotes human rights and democratic freedoms for the people of Tibet.