The Reed People, the Bog People,
People of the Sun, the Chosen People,
green people of the night,
people from down under, the
people of dreams,

the laughing populations of the Land of Hearts,
sour folk from Death Woods,
the Boat People, migration people,
People of the Lost World,
people with no homeland, the weeping folk of
Sorrowful Falls, people you
meet on the street, people behind the
counter at the discount store, waiters and
waitresses, strangers you fall in love with for
five minutes but will
never see again, they go to their world which is
fully illumined to them and in total
shadow to you, they might as well be
two-dimensional silhouettes, their
voices are silenced to your ears, but to
their ears and the various
people in their world they talk and listen,
praise and moan, people

behind bars, people on gurneys, people in
all night delicatessens, buying sandwiches,
people on the streets late at night, eyes
burrowing into space like gophers, heads
down, trying to disappear,

people of honor, people who’d die in a moment to
save their fig tree, their old mother in the
black shawl, their kid sister’s honor, their
family home behind barbed wire,

so poignant the living reality of everyone
individually, then disappointments and sense of
purpose nevertheless,

people of fashion, the Beautiful People, the
homeless, like old ropes frayed at the
end and banging the asphalt,

people I love far and wide but who
don’t even know I exist,

the Blue People, People of the Sphinx,
people of the end of the world,
population trodden

plot of earth
gone under at the end, people

of the graves, People of the Right Hand,
People of the Left, People of the Garden

People of the Fire,

People of Light.

8/21/86 (from I Imagine a Lion)

Categories: Poems