(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
From the swing toward the lucky blonde