“The Errand” by Elizabeth J. Coleman

Elizabeth J. Coleman


At Spring Street on the edge of Chinatown,
a guy in an old car turned left into
my path. I yelled, watch out, and he rolled down
his window, shouted back, Oh, shut up. You
are so fucking stupid!
I was glad
he spoke, found a way to say hello
in a neighborhood filled with pictographs
I love but cannot read. The German roots,
sibilance in shut, closed vowel sounds
in fuck and up made me almost forget
why I was there.
Then I pictured my two-year-old
grandson pedaling his birthday gift;
how he would look up to tell me tanks,
eluded by the consonant-clustered thanks.

from Rattle #62, Winter 2018


Elizabeth J. Coleman: “I write poems for so many reasons. I think poems are like prayers, they are like songs, they are the most exciting and strange and exciting and surprising form of communication there is, and when I write poetry I feel like I’m dancing, and thus more alive.” (web)

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