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Day with a Bad Taste

Text of Poem

The street gasps with the exhaust
of trucks and buses, rumbles in my ears
at traffic lights, crowds me
with impatient sirens, puckers
my mood like a bite of sour grapes.

The clock outruns the items
on my worksheet, a tick-tock joke
at my slow feet.

I walk past store windows with
a stranger as my reflection and
ask myself what facts
indenture me to my place.

I look for playgrounds, libraries,
wide shaded yards, houses of friends,
and see beer joints, junk yards,
dogs digging in flower beds—I stop at
a drinking fountain to rinse my mouth.

First Line
The street gasps with the exhaust
Original Pub Location
Original Publication Date
Original Citation
Planting Red Geraniums: Discovered Poems of James Hearst. Final Thursday Press, 2017. 25.
Complete Poems
Hearst Collections
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Permission to reproduce work from the James Hearst Papers has been granted by the Special Collections Department of the University of Iowa Libraries.

Poetic Form