March

Since long before we moved here,
people have been putting up flyers

and others have been tearing them down,
and over the years this rash of staples has

spread over every pole on the street.
The poles tilt vaguely left or right:

they’re like splintered soldiers
in chain mail with sick men’s cheeks,

all chill to the touch. They remember
nothing of decades of lost cats, One Dollar

Tuesdays at East Side Harry’s,
apartments for rent or Ford trucks for sale,

that whole racket of wind and paper, sleet
and pigeon feathers, ripped and flapping and flown.

Merrill Oliver Douglas studied in the writing program at Sarah Lawrence College, and she earned an MA in English from Binghamton University in 1982. Her most recent publications are in A Narrow Fellow, Connotation Press: An Online Artifact, Barrow Street and San Pedro River Review. She lives near Binghamton, N.Y., where she runs a freelance writing business.

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2 Responses to March

  1. allehall says:

    I love this. I really love this. I printed it out and framed it for my writing area. It’s something that any urban person can related to, and love, I’ve always thought about the people whose job it was to remove the posters and put up the new one. The staples never caught my eye. Also, I love the layers of meaning in the title. Thank you.

  2. Pingback: Links to Merrill’s poems – Top of JC's Mind

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