“A Homeless Traveling Statesman” by Jennifer Reeser

Jennifer Reeser


You near and wave the wan evacuees
enough to get them back to Jackson Square
with bellies full of bagels and cream cheese.
The sweat-soaked husband can’t return your stare,
their compact packed to bursting with the most
his wife and kids were able to finagle
before the hurricane could hit the coast.
But gas is choice as gold, and that cheese bagel
is higher than when you and I were stranded
in similar surroundings. We just hope
his damage doesn’t match what we were handed.
The hardest part is how we watch him mope,
and pass the bland, non-Cajun styrofoam
container through her window, heading home.

from Poets Respond
September 5, 2021


Jennifer Reeser: “Having lived through emergency evacuations, I know that worse than feeling trapped in your circumstances with few ways out, is feeling trapped in your circumstances, with no way out at all. Here is one account of my experience from the outside, looking in.” (web)

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