by John Sierpinski

This bleak suburb of Chicago
this Best Western hotel

this December, freezing rain
these grey scraps of snow

these apartments across the way
those small prisons of the body

those little prisons of the mind
those thick glass block windows

the dark bark of a single tree
the tender brushing

from a western pine
this tanker rig

idling on hotel asphalt
that severe shower

the road:
frigid, slippery rain

dreaded black ice
the drama of Christmas lights

this sipping
yesterday’s Freon coffee

these moments of apparitions
this light pole swaying

this land mourning
this editorial radio humming

this smoke blowing sideways
this cold shoulder sky leaning

this threadbare light
of leaving

John Sierpinski has published poetry widely in many literary magazines such as California Quarterly, North Coast Review and Spectrum, to name a few. His work is also in four anthologies, and he has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize. His poetry collection Sucker Hole was published in 2018 by Cholla Needles Press. He lives in Yucca Valley, California with his wife, Lynn.