The snake circled the island, up the Hudson, down the Harlem,
into the East, and around the point past Billy G’s
rent-controlled building on the Lower West Side.
It compressed the bedrock as Billy G worked hard,
then harder, for space to cook and eat, sit and sleep, and when
he moved his small couch and two chairs against the walls, to dance.
The snake, fat and brazen, crawled onto piers and promenades
and into plumbing, squeezing Billy G into smaller and smaller
stripped down spaces, unfit for dancing, or cooking, or sitting — or living.
And so it was in a moldy apartment he could no longer afford,
Billy G drained his body of blood, while the snake,
coiled on the rim of the tub, devoured all trace of foul play.
You and I
I see a bridge too narrow and old.
You see a river of jade below.
Afraid to miss the bus, I run.
You walk and take a later one.
Clenched, I sit in the crowded café,
while you savor the light this time of day
But, I say, the world will end.
Ah yes, you say, but it will start again.
A children’s book author, Lynda DeWitt also wrote and edited for the National Geographic Society, Discovery Communications, the National Academies of Sciences, and other nonprofit and for-profit organizations. She lives and works in the Washington, DC area. Her poems have been published in The American Journal of Poetry (Vol Five), Blue Lake Review (Sept, 2018), and 50 Haikus (Vol 1, Issue 14).
Image by Darren Wyn Rees – Aberdare Blog http://www.aberdareblog.co.uk/, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=2576955