This poem originally appeared at The Rusty Nail.
For the Taking
One has to act and dress as a pervert,
some makeshift law man, in plain
some criminal, that stakes the home—
the family, the child that plays alone
in the lawn—from an unsuspected car.
On most afternoons, one just eyes what is
called the unfortunates. Wait for the yellow sun
to fade and turn to black as the hawk
swoops in and forms its deathly shadow,
yanks the lively hood from a curb,
a garage, from the mortgaged earth,
back to the nest where it belongs.
It’s good pay being a repossession specialist,
though one must be smooth and quick,
ease the rig through the night, miss the bumps,
hook up the chains. Be ready for the owners’
last plea of lent from their pocket to not lose all,
the good life, as their little boy or girl looks
on through the dirty lens for a brighter world,
the world where mommy or daddy’s car still remains.
Just yesterday a man thought to take back his borrow.
With a shattered window the unfortunate
sat behind the wheel, took in the interstate
lines, felt the wind pulse through, the hums
of the daily dance. He listened to the cicadas,
traced his finger along the broken dash lines,
thought about his job before it was gone,
his family that had left him, the voice of
“Daddy, are we there yet,” from the empty back seat.
Today news broke over the airwaves, the hiss and
the crackle, another had failed to take back the key
that wasn’t rightfully theirs. The slouched body, it was said,
the dreams, were again left ruined, soiled and seeped
into society’s face for a fortunate to clean and lend once more.