Storm Drain – Gloria Keeley

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

Gloria Keeley
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.

Homeless but with perfect makeup
Photography
Joseph Johnston
I worry about my homeless friend
Photography
Joseph Johnston
Reading Pulitzer Prize Winner
Photography
Joseph Johnston

Joseph Johnston
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.

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