an on-line poetry magazine
for the 21st century

WINTER 2021-22

 

Herb Wahlsteen

6 AM 6th STREET

She crawls out from

under a

newspaper comforter

like a lizard

crawling out from

under dead leaves.

Her skin is

rotten-tomato red,

soot black,

and old-newspaper yellow.

The surrounding

buildings are

battered and tattered

like her

body and clothes.

The dawn is

gray like

her hair

and hopes.

She slithers along

the sidewalk,

very invisible to

passing

garbage collectors,

delivery drivers,

undocumented Native Americans,

nine to a van and driving to

five-dollars-an-hour

hard labor,

in fact, to

all around

except

the police

and

a poet.

The police place

her battered body into

the back seat of

a police car.

A poet places her

mortal being into

a poem.

Herb Wahlsteen earned a B.A. in English from CA. St. U., Fullerton, and an M. A. in English from Columbia U. He then worked many years as a high-school teacher in New York City Public Schools. He was a finalist in the Yale Series of Younger Poets contest, placed 3rd in the Writer’s Digest 77th Annual Writing Competition: Rhyming Category, and has had poems published in: Long Island Quarterly, The Long Islander, and many other local, national, and international publications