A Letter

(after reading Richard Hugo)

 

Dear Screaming Lady,

 

Didn't you know that nobody cared

Whether you were Jewish or not?

And your blonde hair was really

Not so blonde,

But only smudged like Milwaukee

Beyond our windows.

 

Thanks anyway for the rush of blood,

The adrenalin boost we got

From this thought:

There is a crazy woman on the bus.

We wondered first if you had a knife

Or a gun. You didn't.

Your weapon was one sentence, repeated

Till we couldn't hear it any more:

I am the only blonde Jew in Milwaukee

The only one!

 

Once you said something about your children,

But I don't remember what.

I was always reaching my stop

Before you passed those grimy snapshots

To the nearest strangers.

I would have liked to see them,

Especially the one where you are young

And your little boy's feet leap out through leaves

From the swing toward the lucky blonde sun.

 

1986


All poems by Br. Tom Murphy, O. Carm.

My Poems

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