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Lexington Poetry Month

For the Woman Standing on the Overpass at 4 P.M.

04Jun2019
POEM
1

(and each of us.)

When you look at the train tracks,

I hope you only see the places

you have yet to go.

Do not think for a second

that this world doesn’t need

your wanderlust.

 

We need your road rage,

your summertime unreliable car,

overheating on the interstate

before you reach your destination.

We need your overpacked suitcase

and the mix-tape you made in middle school.


Gift us your sun soaked skin

and hot breath panting

on the side of the road.

The breaking down

is the bit that makes every trip

more memorable in the end.

If you are here,
on the overpass at 4 P.M.,
it is not quite rush hour

and not yet the end.

 

I hope when you look down

you remember the first time

you watched Harry Potter.

Eating popcorn and wishing

to be on the Hogwarts express.

I hope you learned,

as I did,

to repeat your favorite line.

“Or worse, expelled.”

 

Love, this may be your worst day.

Still, it is only your worst day so far.

There are plenty more to come.

But even then and now,

you aren’t expelled

and haven’t even received

your acceptance letter

from Hogwarts.

 

You still haven’t been to Niagra falls.

You haven’t bought a hairless cat

or cried in the grocery store.

You haven’t returned enough

horrible meals at restaurants,

found your best clearance dress,

or recommended your favorite book

to a stranger who might need it…

like you do and did.

 

You haven’t felt what it’s like

to have your next worst day.

You haven’t done all of the things

you swore not to do.

I hope you do.

 

I hope you smoke

a whole pack of cigarettes.

I hope you drink

an entire bottle of wine

as long as it helps you find

just one more horrible hangover.

 

You have so many kitchen spiders

to scream about,

your tongue is still here

to be bitten and burnt,

so many worse

haircuts remain.

Your worst day

is still out there,

I hope you don’t leave

it waiting.

 

We need you to stay around

to complete every

New York Times wordsearch

only half-way before giving up

and leaving your number

with the barista who helps you find

that damn twelve across.

 

When he calls,

don’t let him hear your voicemail.

Don’t make him leave a message

you’ll never get to hear.

Done let your phone be disconnected.

We are all already waiting

for someone to pick up

and answer the other end

of our own worst pick up lines.

 

This world has enough fragments

of people.

We have enough hauntings

of lives unlived.

We need you,

on your worst day yet.

We need you,

in all the fullness of your life

that is still yet to be lived.

 

Look down at your shadow

on the top of that train.

Watch as the last car passes.

Nobody in this world

casts their darkness quite like yours.

Do each thing you’re afraid of.

 

This living,

I know it is the scariest one yet.

I promise,

we must all do

exactly that.


One response to “For the Woman Standing on the Overpass at 4 P.M.”

  1. Thank you for this. That line, “fragments of people” is genius. All of this is.

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