Poem 20

Twenty things that caught my eye while walking home

 

1.

A soiled Beautyrest mattress

torn and overturned in the alley

 

2.

St. Josaphat Ukrainian Catholic Cathedral

announcing the next pyrogy supper in moveable church sign letters

 

3.

The weathered sign of Little Italy Foods next to

the laundromat that boasts the best deal in town

 

4.

Chinese lanterns, 

blessing an upstairs balcony with rich red and gold

 

5.

Early blooming tulips, blessing 

the red brick Lambton Block

 

6.

A sign in a basement window that reads

“It’s all fun and games until somebody roasts your chestnuts”

 

7.

A four gallon pail holding plants that used to hold

four gallons of Kikkoman soya sauce

 

8.

A stucco Buddhist temple standing back to back with 

A New York Pizza Palace  

 

9.

An auto repair shop named ‘Cantrust’

(in case you needed some assurance)

 

10.

A back alley claim by the Burger Baron to have

“the best mushrooms in town”

 

11.

The pawn shop where the elderly owner was robbed and his arm was broken and 

they made a documentary about him

 

12.

An empty storefront jammed full of 

garbage and old kitchen equipment 

(repeat) 

 

13.

An empty storefront with a reproduction of a Michelangelo painting up against the glass–

on closer inspection it is a jigsaw puzzle dolled up in a white baroque frame

 

14.

The music venue that is trying to open but 

cannot open 

 

15.

Henry’s Grocery. 

Supposedly. 

 

16.

A single white sport sock that isn’t white any more near

a purple Pringles can, spilled and ground into the sidewalk

 

17.

Someone has turned a dirty old futon into 

a dirty old lawn futon

 

18.

A discarded packet of McChicken sauce that I almost step on and soon

a discarded yellow condom that I almost step on

 

19. 

The front lawn so full of garbage you cannot see the house 

The forest of overgrowth getting greedy for the garbage, 

wrapping her arms around it

They say these things on the lawn belonged to a now-dead daughter. 

They say the woman who lives there couldn’t deal with her now-dead daughter’s things 

so she has not dealt with the things

 

20. 

The flophouse run by the drug thug

crowded with ramshackle bikes and a grimy stroller

There is a small sign on the window

advising new tenants not to knock if they are not expected

because a child lives here

 

‘respect my home’

Dave Von Bieker

Dave Von Bieker, 11243 85 St NW, Edmonton, AB, T5B 3C6, Canada

Dave Von Bieker lives at the intersection of art, faith, hope and love. He has 2 great kids, a fantastic wife, and a mostly good dog. He plays red guitars and drives red cars.