Laurence Overmire: Three poems

Parched Lips

He looked the part
        Crumpled coat, dirty shoes
        Hair down to the shoulders
        Sunglasses perched atop the head
So much so that passersby said
You must be an artist
A poet, a painter, musician of some kind.
He smiled, winked
Dragged on a cigarette.

At home alone
Bottle in hand, it was enough
To play at dreams
The work, the time it really took
To bring an artist into being
Was just too much
A bother.


Thank God, the bar was dark
He knew he didn't stand much of a chance with the chick
Her blue jeans tight, make-up running.

She'd seen so many of his kind before
Cowboy-booted buckaroos
Plugging nickels in a jukebox.

But what the hell, the night was young
The beer was cold, and a bitter bleak morning
Promised nothing more than wiping counters
          and pouring coffee.

Narrow Crossing

The cross rises out of the high ground
Above the freeway, like a mighty white

Sword stabbed provocatively into
The bosom of the heartland

Looking down with righteous indignation:
The thousands of Buddhists, Muslims

Atheists and Jews who
Bravely make their way

Albeit uncomfortably
Through the narrow passages of hypocrisy

Toward the beckoning horizon
Of an American dream.