I could have gone to work, driven with windows open
rain, tiny pins on my face; traffic, slow and easy
I would have missed the news: the houses falling into the hole
like old tinker toys in a child’s sandbox
I could have driven all morning,
tree parts sucked into my car’s grill
a fallen branch here; a crushed car there
picture the tree crashing right through
the house where that family used to watch tv
now a sunken living room, furniture boats adrift
ballerina with dirty toe shoes pirouetting into the earth
the scene of the Seine, French-like and elegant
trees and stumps, broken plaster of Paris
paint mixed with mud, Moulin Rouge dripping
toys askew, broken, shattered, split
the happy clown cracks the big log legs
I used to play Cootie, putting the arms on, then the eyes,
the ears, then joyfully pulling them apart, bloodless and clean
I could have glanced casually out my windows
the winds blowing peoples’ lives apart, bits of their history
riding a gust to town, the garbage cans flying by,
like little soldiers in the war-torn streets
you would have laughed at how warm I looked
in my warm-ups drinking mocha decaf
I’m a graduate of San Francisco State University with a BA and MA in Creative Writing. I’m a former student of CCSF and taught at CCSF for 36 years. When I was a student in the 1960s I was editor of FORUM and was lucky enough to have a few poems published.
Joseph Johnston has been taking photography classes at City College since 2011. He has won the top photography price of the department, the Cherkis Award, for a photo-story about a family member dealing with alcoholism and drug addiction. One of his current projects is a sympathetic depiction of homeless people.
2 thoughts on “Storm Drain – Gloria Keeley”
Thanks for sharing this!
Thanks, Nathan. I appreciate your taking the time to read my poem and especially taking the time to comment.