A Scene Amidst the Mist

The following piece was presented at Jersey City Writers’ genre event – Jersey Plums Poetry Reading. Please enjoy.


Why is a police car with flashing lights
parked on Ogden this morning?
Where are the 3 squirrels who
scamper in Riverview Park every other morning,
running from fence to bench?

The fog swathing the trees
heightens these morning mysteries.
The park lights have questions, too.
The sun’s job is to turn them off,
but today they glow half-dimmed.
Wondering if it’s day or night,
they crouch behind a gauze curtain.
I gaze as I always do
at the gazebo
and beyond.
Where is the City today?
Has it evaporated into the haze?

A woman in a white satin bathrobe
and sandals crams a black garbage bag into
a trash basket in the park.
Why isn’t she wearing fluffy slippers with her robe?
Why isn’t she wearing a coat
instead of a flimsy robe in this chill?
Why is she so brazenly breaking the law,
which I confess I have also done,
but I am more discreet and dressed when I
deposit my bags in a public bin when I’m
departing a day before garbage pick up.
How is it she doesn’t see our neighbor’s
bags on the curb?
Visible even in this morning’s fog,
the bags are evidence she didn’t need to walk so far
to deposit hers.
Do the bones from last night’s chicken dinner
or her ex lurk inside?

Why is the police car pulling away
when I need the cops to investigate?
What more awaits me on this day
already packed with mysteries
in the short trip from my
front steps to
the bus stop?


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