Penurious Jane.

I'm cold.

Standing still on a corner of a very busy street.

The cars buzz past me, I go unnoticed to their hard, unsympathetic eyes.

The motors murmuring and the rumble of a truck.

I hear.

I hear a bus, it's bumping along the uneven asphalt,

And now, right now, in the background of it all, I hear the birds.

They sing, rejoicing, a cheery tune in mind,

Like a swollen heart that knows of undying love they sing.

I exhale.

A white cloud obscures my vision momentarily.

It is like looking through a hazy sheet of glass,

A three dimensional universe, gazing through a looking glass of time.

I refocus my eyes and listen again.

I listen closely, the man across the street, he wears a red plaid jacket.

Or maybe, perhaps it once was, I can't tell anymore.

He's coughing and as he does so, his hat, a floppy green toque, slips slightly forward on his head.

And I know.

I know him and I are alike.

Not in looks undoubtedly, but we share a history.

We are the same.

On the other side, there is a woman.

Dressed... or... undressed,

She has no respect for her body, selling what she owns.

The men, I'm sure she's used to them.

Frequent visitors,

Robbing her of herself.

Degrading her.

Misusing her.

Thieving her of irreplaceable worth.

She too, is like me.

I hear.

I hear the people, the rustle and bustle of an average Monday morning.

The people, the same as me, they walk quickly, I hear their shoes drag.

I stand a moment longer and I remember...

I'm cold.


I walk stiffly, heading to the nearest doorway.

I wrap my fingers around the hard handle, willing it to welcome me into its interior.

I pull open the heavy door, I hear its hinges creak.

I step inside, the voice of a woman fills the once still, silent air.

I release the door and it clanks loudly against the metal frame.

There are others here, others like me.

They look grave, their solemn faces, etched with sadness and a lifetime of unknown revives an ache deep in my chest.

A tug, a feeling of embarrassment.

A pang of jealously.

Another of home.


I know nothing but this.

The cruel go-byers, the sick, the dying, the absence of love.

The unfulfilled, gaping hole,

The yearning,

The needing,

            The cold.

The End

1 comment about this poem Feed