The Lengthy Story (poem)

Posted by ractrose on 16 Mar 2021 in Art, Poems

Digital art of woman before southwestern landscape




The Lengthy Story


A traveler who for an empty purse

Casts danger as she must, in its most lifelike role

This predator will wear his tightest clothes

As a speck on a zooming sedan’s horizon

Best she dart into scrub and vanish

She does

They are so many of them alone

Their checked shirts and tees take on a form

Fit for menace in his sleek, light-refusing bodysuit

Finally a truck comes slowing with an open bed

And half the occupants are women

Some children    so surely not

The men tap back their hats and tiredly stare

But otherwise care not much

She lays down her pack and sits

Worried that the tailgate is missing

Wondering if she works now and if she should

But everyone takes what she gets

A day ago she’d set off walking


A day ago a voice begins

You see this? An open palm, the speaker’s face

Not seen

Overalls and a broad gut

A straw hat cants eclipse

Knees in a flowing skirt block-print

Indigo sweater with the elbows out

Scarves wrapping a newsboy cap

Could that be the one trips poor like this

On envy something postcard and muted

Nostalgic with outrage

You the magazines used to portray

Gainst a wheat-hued horizon buffeted

Crowned by a cherry sun

Set on your mooted city in the clouds

And were it me    old western boots

Turquoise and the musk

Of romance-distilled perfume


My parents moved to their apartment

My husband took the little girl

He promised to drive me to the outskirts

Gave me a hundred


The truck stops at a crossroads

Her hand leaves a pocket

An envelope she drops on the bed

Flutters up and looses its contents

Everyone grabs and the vagabond grabs

If she doesn’t want it


“You won’t take it from him.”

“No. Who cares…who cares.”




The Lengthy Story

Oil painting of fantasy beings in confrontation
Haunt of Thieves (part two)













(2018, Stephanie Foster)




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