AGAINST A TURNING TIDE

Slightly out of focus
a man climbs the long road
from the city center

At his back roofs stand like sand-castles
against a turning tide
Street-arching poles and wires

curtail the light. The man’s burden stoops him short
His load-strapped breath
weighs on us; his phlegm-throttled cough

pulls at our vocal chords.
It’s a language we could speak,
a pitch we could hear,

if we could climb free of the rubble,
if we could lift the heavy girders from our chest.
As dust-clouds swarm the city

and blot out the sky,
his thick-soled feet plod on
Plod on

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