Where the Women Last Sat

Where the Women Last Sat

(In Memoriam of The Anna Louise Inn)

They once paced
across a long veranda
saying a longer goodbye
to the life one John, then another,photo 1 copy 2
said would improve.

The underbelly
of the carriage porch
had once been their escape
from the glower of the public’s eye
and the glow off a little boy’s game –
games women never played.

Instead they were re-moved
from a cracked city curb
on the last matriarchal corner
of a patriarchal block.

Where they last sat
is now overgrown –
their chairs like wildflowers
tangled in weeds –
deeds of their past eclipsed
by cardboard sopped in rain.

Maybe it’s better
their plight in the open
women inhaling freshly-scrubbed air
no longer submitting
to staleness from centuries past.

A monument would be fitting
after bulldozers are done digging
the wishes women had sown
in the uncluttered fields as they overlooked
the land of their overlord.

A woman in repose.
A bench and cigarette, a molded footrest
surrounded by greens of dreams.

Rest for the body, a puff of silence
off their soles, off the streets.

AJW 7/8/2015 – In Memory of the Anna Louise Inn, as it housed the Off the Streets Program. Now the occupants have moved to a new center, but there were chairs left behind with the mark of the women who finally sat down, to get off their feet and off the streets.

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