Changelings in a World of Broken

Beneath a drone of airplanes, I hear the chant of clouds
drift across the top of apartment buildings
singing songs to glass skylights and satellite dishes; crows
gathering on telephone wires.

Many years before this time,
I was a girl handing out leaflets,
fingers greasy from mimeo machines
in every storefront where changelings
of my generation spent summers marching
along Fifth Avenue in a cavalcade of banners
chanting No More War and Ho, Ho, Ho Chi Minh,
the Civil Rights Movement and assassinations imprinted
on our brains.

Caught my breath,
found a front row seat at the computer revolution,
gazed into a flickering screen and saw the future.
Real time meant tick tock right now.

There was other time, virtual time that lived inside
an application, also borrowed, moving an integer
from one column to another, the way life and death
are two sides of the same copper penny.

Some learned Assembly,
a language of x’s and o’s that allowed
a computer operating system to know itself.

We had families, needed benefits,
funneled fervor into overtime.

Then a President, elected because he understood TV,
and another who built his house with social media.

Now AT&T offers the cocaine of four lines.
About the magnitude of chatter,
a need for extended family in a world of broken.

We hold our cell phones to take selfies,
post the address of a new restaurant,
an electrified didgeridoo in the subway,
at a fundraiser reading poetry,
the rescue puppy who needs adoption,
new sketch of a jazz musician,
baby’s first birthday party,
graduations, baseball games, tomatoes in our gardens,
standing in front of a sign, a car, a house,
persimmons in a bowl with purple orchids,
marches on the streets of Hong Kong,
demonstrations on the streets of Ferguson,
people fleeing homes in Gaza,

and we want everyone to like us for who we are
and we want everyone to like us for who we are

as a murder of crows gather on telephone wires,
as clouds keep changing
until the whole sky becomes one cloud,
and I hear a voice chanting and I strain to hear the words.

Links to My Work

Two Places: Cross the Bay Bridge to Oakland, California and walk the bayous of Louisiana
Price(USD): $15.00

About Lenore Weiss

Lenore's collections include "Tap Dancing on the Silverado Trail" (2011) from Finishing Line Press, “Sh’ma Yis’rael” (2007) from Pudding House Publications, and "Cutting Down the Last Tree on Easter Island" (West End Press, 2012). Her writing has won recognition from Poets&Writers (finalist in California Voices contest) and as a finalist for Pablo Neruda Prize, Nimrod International Journal. The Society for Technical Communication has recognized her work regarding Technical Literacy in the schools. All material is copyrighted on this site and cannot be used without the author's permission.
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