Society Limbo

I saw you yesterday on the stairs of the mall

a local by accent

an immigrant by color

caught between worlds, you were sitting there with a friend

drinking beer from a bottle.

I watched you as the old man shuffled by.

‘You buy a postcard? Pretty postcard?’

‘Get lost,’ you said, and, ‘get a job.’

‘This is my job,’ he told you, told you off. ‘I pay my taxes. You? You came here, a guest in this country, you better behave.’

‘I am of this country,’ you replied. ‘I pay my taxes, too.’

And on and on, the pair of you went, dancing the society limbo

each of you looking

how low you could go

each of you hoping

to find someone lower than yourself

someone to look down on.

You left, and left your empty bottles

the kind you can return to the store for a refund

48 cents on the stairs of the mall

and an empty cardboard box.

I watched

and waited

for someone to look up to.

He came, a few minutes later

worn-out clothes and unkempt hair

a bag in his hands

he stooped, and collected your 48 cents,

and then stooped once more

to pick up your empty cardboard box, fold it up neatly, and put it in the nearest trash can.

I smiled at him,homeless-man-833017_1280

to tell him I had seen him

and he smiled back,

to tell me that he knew,

and we both refused to dance.

 

 

 

 

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About angelikarust

My name is Angelika Rust. I was born in Vienna in 1977. These days, I live in Germany, with my husband, two children, a despotic couple of cats and a hyperactive dog. After having tried almost every possible job from pizza delivery girl to HR consultant, I now make a living knowing English. No, I haven’t yet figured out what I want to be when I grow up, whenever that may be. In the meantime, I write the occasional book.
This entry was posted in Poems that won't change the world and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Society Limbo

  1. Volequeen says:

    Quite beautiful x

    Like

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