Could They?

Roses of Belfast
Brown-eyed Susan
Under a White Umbrella
Mexican Conquest
Expresso Dreams
Summer Rain
Christmas Eve
Morning After
Eternal Unity
Bitter Blossoms
Tender Mercies
Into the Darkness
Miss Maddy Jones
Could They?
The Temple Gate
Midnight Writer
Sioux-Blue Sky
Nine Years Old
Spring Sonnet
Same Time, Next Year




The neighbors gathered,
Someone called the police
They glanced at the body,
Then looked away.
How could she do it?
They all had places to go.
They glanced at their watches,
With growing impatience.
How careless of her to die like that.
They couldnt very well step over her,
Could they?

Each of them thought it,
But none would say out loud,
Just move her out of the way,
we have places to go today.
Nobody knew her name,
None had seen her before,
Now, she impeded their progress,
Her body still, outside their door.
Some stood in the lobby and waited
A few turned and found another way out,
They couldnt very well step over her,
Could they?

There was a time, years before,
When neighbors watched her come and go.
She was young then, so full of life,
They were warmed by her smile,
And cheered by her voice,
They exchanged pleasantries,
And wished they knew her.
But none made the effort.
They couldnt very well bother her,
Could they?

The years passed with little notice,
Neighbors moved out each spring.
Others came, but they were the same,
New people seldom returned her smile.
They had lives of their own,
So many places to go.
They couldnt very well bother,
Could they?

Time was a thief. It took all that she had.
Her hair faded, and so did her smile,
She walked more slowly,
Never went out at night.
When people passed her,
They didn't stop to speak.
They couldnt very well bother,
Could they?

They never noticed, but she did,
Each day she had become
Less visible than the day before.
When did she vanish completely?
It was long ago, she had been quite aware.
But, that morning, she reappeared,
She was there, and all too real,
A lifeless body at their front door.
They couldnt very well step over her,
Could they?



(C) 2001 Susan Donahue