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Florida

Half a Building Gone

(x = space)

x

x

Half a Building Gone

(Surfside, Florida)

x

Half a building gone

It seems,

Unreal

x

I mean, how do we

Take it in?

x

High-rise exposure—the

Condos look

Like cells,

Like empty egg cartons

Many stories high

x

The back that stands

Looks brown;

The open part looks

Silver,

Though I imagine

The effect is the light

Of day

And camera resolution

x

How many died?

How many live?

x

Already a pack appears

Around a microphone,

Mouthing

Not enough details

Although with

Many assurances

x

Maybe that’s good

x

Maybe it symbolizes

There should not

Be panic

But that the best advice

Is to sit

Or stand around

x

While the recues

Work on,

Heroes

x

When the experts

Do their jobs

That they do well

x

Stand by

For more information,

More assurances

x

C L Couch

x

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Photo by Dan Russo on Unsplash

Florida, United States

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Degrees of Incarceration

(x = space)

x

x

Degrees of Incarceration

x

I don’t know what to say today

To students, peers, siblings, or anyone

I keep thinking about

The Pennsylvania woman on spring break

In Florida, who was raped and left

For dead

And who died

Whose credit cards were stolen,

The proceeds to sponsoring more partying

By her rapists, now incarcerated

x

I keep thinking about the images

I’ve seen of spring-break partyers in Florida

At night and looking young and fit,

Drinking from cups on lawns and in driveways,

No doubt parking lots as well

And in many, many rooms

And there is not a mask in sight

And there is no safe distance in between

For any reason

x

I keep thinking about the places where

People are fighting, virus (also) notwithstanding

Syria and Yemen

Myanmar

Hong Kong where leaders and speakers

Are arrested

And all the acts of violence in my land

The land about which Woody Guthrie wrote

And sang

Irving Berlin and Kate Smith, too (respectively)

x

There is too much to think about

But no sedative or anesthetic for me,

Please

I have to deal with side effects from

What I take each day

x

I ramble but around a theme

And I’m revising, too:

What do we think about what threatens to

Close us off from normalcies

And niceties?

It’s all right, you know

(I know)

There is no Sunday best required

For thinking spiritual thoughts

Or wondering how the Spirit as we know

That Spirit might be enlisted

Might be involved, anyway

x

If not our neighbors or our friends

Though maybe our neighbors and our friends

And family people

Encouraging our say

As we encourage saying

For all the times I want

To shut up, and that is right

For all the times there is something pressing

And I

And we

Should release it

x

And, yes, I wonder if poems

Should have messages and morals, but then I think

I’d have to say that poems aren’t for less

x

Maybe poems are

Things we have to say

That can’t be said better in

Any other way

x

C L Couch

x

x

https://www.nydailynews.com/news/crime/ny-spring-break-victim-identified-24-year-old-philadelphia-woman-20210323-quet7ixvhbcodaxhi7h3n5tmj4-story.html

https://www.nydailynews.com/news/crime/ny-spring-break-woman-rape-drugs-dead-20210323-qljdbntr3vd43bbvfaxj5aclaa-story.html

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Photo by Rajesh Rajput on Unsplash

Love

x

To Parkland Youth

To Parkland Youth

(Florida, USA)

 

I’ve worked with teenagers forever

So it seems

And I’m glad

 

I like precocity

 

The plain way teens tend to speak

Reminding me of why I like to walk

The streets of Pittsburgh, for

Pittsburgh people speak their minds with

Measures of respect with

Arrowed expression

 

And when I’m with youth, to say

Don’t forget to be fifteen,

Sensing some relief

All around

 

Being teen is good, and acting real is

Good

There are things you don’t have to

Own because you’re not there,

And this is good

 

Which is not to put you down but to raise up

All the growth that

Happens

In delight, frustration, error, joy

 

You should be free to

Know what to leave and what

To take with you

 

Should not be a thing for you

That we can’t let you finish adolescence

And so enter

The rest of the world

 

You have to step in now

And you shouldn’t have to

 

You have to act as two generations

And there it is

And for all I like you

And because,

This is not right

 

C L Couch

 

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