Voices on the Wind
PROVIDENCE, OCTOBER MORNING
by John Grey
Providence rises in the Autumn sun
over seven hills, a State house,
and a gold-gray City Hall.
I'm sleepy drunk on your coolness,
on your yellow smoke of light and cars,
your slow river, poisonous brown,
where low sky sheds ragged mallards,
a gull beaked with filaments of blood
I watch your office buildings unfold
like mastodons in a silent film,
glinting windows, white-veined brick,
ancient and modern, heel to heel.
Out in the bay, one lowly ferry
put-puts to the morning's sluggish beat.
Along the river walk, I step into
the dull gait of the waking homeless.
Every building is after my vision.
There's the courthouse, there's the diner,
I'm bruised one moment, blessed the next,
my lungs charged with all the crimes of the city,
my hunger sentenced to eggs and hash.