music:  sounds of silence

maggie

 

maggie
 
she lived in the shadows
fingers interlocked, head bowed
once she had called that prayer
now she called it desperation
 
food was no longer her first want
those other crazy drives
sleep
sex
were past tense in her life
 
when approached, she spoke of planets
and walking on clouds
and asked to touch the policeman’s badge
until they left her alone
 
she wasn’t crazy
but they never let her touch their weapons
only laughed
at ‘maggie’, that’s what they called her
 
seattle was once her city
now bakersfield on her way to tucumcari
and memphis
where the highways splattered like a squashed spider
 
nashville had once been her goal
thirty years ago, when a song and a guitar
bought a pretty girl a beer
and that had been the problem
 
now it would be south to jackson
or north to st. louis
perhaps southeast to birmingham
all the city signs said ‘welcome’
 
sleep was her achievement now
yet her eyes were as ready as her mind
and she still had a song in her heart
she supposed that songs too, need a place to die