In Seattle, after a rain storm;
Or for that matter, on any morning
in any city in the Northwest;
You can walk down a street
and spot them sitting there.
Skins of all colors, stretched
over crooked skeletons;
Leaning on the sidewalk, in shame—
Yet proud of their corrupt industry
which will replace this one
with yet another one,
next time it unexpectedly rains.
Artifacts of the broken spirit
inside the people,
who wished you to know just
what a futile existence theirs was;
A memento to their moist misery—
thrust into garbage cans,
thrown to the street,
or just laid down;
The people surrender, wet,
to this pervasive climate
of passive aggressive defeat.
Umbrellas, these days, only work
when winds do not blow;
Not making much sense to own.
Walking down the street this morning,
I thought these abandoned umbrellas
and the people who left them there—
deserved a poem, written to their memory.
But now, having read it back—
I think this poem, too, might deserve
the same fate
as those broken drape runners;
Salvaged for scrap metal—
or cause of a flat tire
if you don’t notice them laying there—
discarded along the curb, as you pull in to park.