In vigil


What I like best is standing tall together
in the driving rain at the corner of the
intersection my left foot planted behind
the pole anchoring one end of the banner
that the gusts belly that the rain bounces off
like silver seed observing the orderly
relentless movement of traffic the street lights
conducting each car’s pause pace and sequence through
convergence the drivers glancing out through glass
through sheeting rain to see a line of women
most in black with colorful umbrellas still
in the moving weather holding banners their
hands holding out another way of seeing
what I like best is seeing motley multi-
colored America pass by this one spot
on which I and my sisters have planted our
selves and watching rainwater slide down the face
of old commercial buildings the cars stream by
without pausing but often often drivers
lean on the horn which I translate you’re standing
there for me
or inscrutable passengers
turn to stare their eyes move across the letters
of a new language and take what they need to
think about the girlfriends the children driven
from here to there a flicker an instant of
contact will one of them remember when I
was a child one day it was raining I saw

a long line of women standing on the street
standing there for peace I saw what could be done.


Lee Sharkey