She Cries in the Cold, Cold Rain (The Poem)

She cries in the cold, cold rain
hunched over two worn, tattered duffel bags
and a pile of dirty blankets and clothing.
Every thing she owned is soaked in pain.
Her nest is chaos.
I stand there, already late for work,
sad, angry, and ashamed.
Afraid I may be fired for being late after I miss the train.
I feel helpless.
I rage against our economic, political, and religious systems.
I feel stupid.
And I am late to catch the train to work.

The woman camps upon concrete floors at the bottom
of a partially open stairwell across from an elevator
next to a bus stop
across from the
SeaTac Airport Link Light-Rail Train Station.
One wall is solid;
the other heavy, rubberized wire mesh.
Water ripples across the floor.
Wind blows in raindrops.
Every drop explodes
as flogs once lashed the backs of wayward sailors
and slaves.
And sometimes still do.

She glances up and stares around in wild desperation,
as crazy as a fox hemmed in by hounds
gone mad with hunger lust
and fear.
And she is hungry,
this fox,
and scrawny as a walking stick
dying in the silver gloom of December in Seattle.

She sees no one yet sees thru every one of us.
She sees we have become mechanical and helpless,
Biological Automatons lost within
the Anarchy of Capitalism.
Even me as I’m afraid of losing my job,
as I’ve been late three times
after I’ve missed a train.
She sees us hiding in the glow of our smartfones
where we flee to ignore the real
for the deification of the virtual.
Oh, I’m late to catch the train to work.

Doesn’t matter how many 15-minute breaks I’ve worked thru.
Doesn’t matter how many times I’ve worked late to serve customers.
Management doesn’t care.
They must follow rules, too,
or we all end up on the streets
where the Apocalypse already lives dead.

Thus we are indoctrinated.
Still, we allow ourselves to be indoctrinated.
Distracted by scandals
as we binge upon streaming movies and TV episodes.
We even assist in our own indoctrination.

She mews and whimpers in broken cries
as she squats bouncing from one foot to the next and back again.
Her hands jerk and whirl in circles over her bags and blankets,
her fingers as lonely as birds flying
until their wings break.
These birds are left behind.
They’re lost, forgotten, or ignored.

I feel scared.
I feel helpless.
I don’t have any money on me to give her.
Hardly ever carry cash and coin around any more.

Even if I did hand out a couple of dollars and some change,
doing so wouldn’t help her much.
Telling her to go to a shelter or some church
or government agency doesn’t do a damn thing
when they are underfunded, overwhelmed,
and a million miles away at this hour.
I feel angry.
I don’t know what to do to help her.

Telling her, “I’m sorry,” doesn’t work
when all empathy is obliterated by
our apocalyptic mass sociopathy.
No wonder few seem to really care about
any of the many challenges
overwhelming our world.
We seem unable to see far or to move
beyond caring about anything to care for what must be done
…or else.
I don’t know what to do with people.
I don’t know what to do with myself.

I snap out of my holy daze to
spin around and march up those steps
in the rain to
dash up the escalators past people
who for some goddamn unfathomable reason
stop moving as soon as they step onto moving steps.

Hey, these are stairs here, people!
Just because they move doesn’t mean you must stop!
Ahh, my racker of ridiculous peeves
distracts my heart from loving those same fellow reflections
of my self … and of her.
Maybe they are simply tired.
The whole world’s too tired, busy, and distracted
to wake up and fly.
But I’m late for my train.

My mind becomes unhinged with grumbling.
Why didn’t they build the roof
further out over the train platform?
To shelter us from wind and rain and ice?
For what reason are so many travelers carrying way too much?
Why does a perfectly healthy person take the elevator?
Why doesn’t an out-of-shape person take the stairs?
Grump, Grump, Grumpy Grump.

I don’t like myself when I’m whining and complaining.
Stop it, I shout within.
This isn’t just about me.
It’s for all of us.
Too much oxygen, hydrogen, and iron
turns my brain red.
What did I do, really?

Did I abandon her, the woman in pain?
Just so I could catch a fucking train?
To keep a dead-end job to pay rent and bills?
Nothing practical fires me up enough
to become some busy entrepreneur.
How can I really make the world a better place
selling goods and services in exchange for so-called money,
the lack thereof dooms all but the wealthiest plutocrats
to lives of struggle and strife?

Oh, I don’t know what to do
except distract myself with useless complaints
and dumb woulda-coulda-shouldas.
Or march in the streets yelling so loud
those who need to hear us the most don’t listen?

So I move on with most everyone else.
All of us who move on believe we thus move forward in this world,
yet are we able to see we’ve chained ourselves
to a future shackled to our past?

We humans left her all alone to
cry in the cold, cold rain.
We left her all alone to die.

Is your life of bliss a lie?

Where is my courage?
Where is yours?

We used to have it, you and I, our courage.

We must find ways to heal our broken hearts.
We must build new stairs to ascend to love.
We must step into trust to fully cooperate.
Together we must generate our strength
to close this book of stone
carved with blood and tears.
Oh, please, stop rolling your eyes with contempt.
Open your hearts, bless you.
Find your guts and extend your spines!

Where is our courage?
We used to have it, you and I, our courage.

Today, however, remember her,
she who cries in the cold, cold rain.
We left her all alone to die.



William Dudley Bass
Sunday 3 December 2017
Tuesday 5 December 2017
Friday 8 December 2017
Sunday 17 December 2017
Thursday 28 December 2017
SeaTac/Seattle, WA
Cascadia, Earth


Copyright 2017 © by William Dudley Bass. All Rights Reserved until we humans establish our Earth and Solarian Commons. Thank you.



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