Demure and sweet, for all the world she looks
Like someone's mother, filled with love and peace.
Yet, not a move her keen eye overlooks.
But files away each gesture, each caprice.
She scatters hints like feathers in the wind;
Words are her weapons, none of us escapes;
She spreads sly rumors how some saint has sinned.
What daytime dramas her mean fancy shapes.
She seems to operate by some sixth sense,
I'm sure she never sleeps; but in our midst,
Keeps passing judgement, peeling off pretense,
Forever present like a catalyst.
Now she's departed; our small town's at peace;
God granted us a merciful release
Outside The City Hall
Old men are sitting on the chewed-up benches
outside the city hall,
each isolated in his self-absorption.
The broken rhythms of the passing feet
seem less important than the murmuring
of the proud-breasted pigeons at their feet.
High in the courthouse tower, the clock
clicks its metallic breathing, and the sun
changes its slant uninterruptedly
until the schools explode, and showers of children
disturb the settled dust;
then robot-stiff, the old men rise
and stumble supperward.