Life Out of Balance

Life Out of Balance

A Poem by Robert Ronnow

Tonight I stayed at work until 7:00.
It was dark when I locked the front doors.
Winter approaches again, soon the great coat
huddled like a rug around me. The streets
were active as usual, block residents
hanging out front steps. I said goodnight
to Nydian Figueroa, after school counselor.
I bought a beer at the deli on Third Ave.
from the Arab owner. He’s a bit upset about
the bottle bill.
                     Collecting bottles from small groceries
could be a useful youth employment enterprise.
I walked down Fifth along the park in the dark
drinking my beer and looking at women. I need
a good f**k badly. I tried to decide whether
to go to the movies, a Hopi film Howard recommended,
or just go home, watch tv and light a candle.
Maybe I’d meet someone at the film.
                                       Can I handle
the malady of going home tonight? If I die,
I die alone.
                 I turned west toward the subway
past the museum, through the park.
I can’t look at the myriad lights in buildings
large enough to hold a small town. It increases
my anxiety and anonymity to the breaking point.
I hoped to be mugged, for the human contact.
Two big guys looked me over, but I lowered
my center of gravity and they passed quietly. Survival
feels fine, proves I am alive.
                                      The white pines
in this corner of the park hold a cool, earthy air
reminding me of coming winter, that mortality is
restful, of the black bear and swollen river I saw
500 miles away and only one day ago.

© 2022 Robert Ronnow

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6 Reviews
Added on July 6, 2022
Last Updated on July 6, 2022
Tags: life, balance, out, work, dark, door, winter, coat, street, night, school, beer, youth, walk, park, look, women, need, movie, home, die, west, museum, light, building, town, anxiety, mortality, air, human, contact, river, bear, earth


Robert Ronnow
Robert Ronnow

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