Fiction   Essays   Poetry  The Ten On Baseball Chapbooks In Memory

Brooke Strauss

Rainbow Stains

Little girl
stayed behind.
Sitting and dangling her long legs atop a rainbow.
Giggling that she was getting smears of green and orange all over her dress.

Young woman
weeping, lost;
Searching for rainbow stains in the complex pattern on her business suit

her palms and knees
for scars born of digging for golden treasures in the backyard

Old woman
turns back
slowly towards the little girl.
Hoping and praying to get some
red or purple streaks that she can use to cover
the dark blue skin
that has set
under her eyes.

Subway Truths

Racing underground
Flashes of light between blinks
Faces with no gleams in the eyes

Iím hoping that no one notices that the speedy curves make
my fingers
curl tightly
around the top of the seat in front of me.
Commuter next to me reads the morning paper.
Does he know that the touch of his thigh against mine comforts me?

Little girl on the other side
looks at me curiously with a tilted head,
as my eyes dart from word to word on the "Incase of Emergency" sign.
Wonder if she knows how to read.

Couple in the corner;
Each of them sits with folded arms and
the woman inches away to the edge of her seat and crosses her legs.
I wonder if she'll forgive him.

Young mother holds her baby tightly in her arms,
as she studies the map across from her
looking for a destination.
Does she know where she wants to go?

As a woman offers her seat to an elderly man,
I try to guess how many more times he will ride this train.

As the subway slides into the next stop,
those left standing bump against each other like pinballs.
The doors open then smack back together like a giantís hands catching a fly.
I bite my bottom lip as a hurried businessman leaps to save his life.

Finally the train pulls in to my stop.
It's the last one on this line.
The rest of us are forced to go up the stairs
and back outside to a place
where subway truths are left behind.

©2007 by Brooke Strauss

Brooke Strauss is a spoken word poet in Philly, and performs at various events and venues. She also sings and recently started taking theater classes.

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