MUSED
BellaOnline Literary Review
Upset Parrot by Maurice Schulman

Poetry


No Shortcuts

Jackie Joice

Whether weíre walking, running, or hiding to avoid
a familiar face
We as women cannot duck into alleys
to observe the narrowness of walkways
or the beauty of flower pots that grace
balconies and steps or window panes
Alleys just donít equate women
Because at the blink of an eye
The strike of a match
or the click of a street light
we can become history
between the pages of local newspapers
and the rings of our cell phones
go unanswered
then theyíre checked for the last call dialed.
We donít have the luxuries of
Shortcuts or saving time
That wasnít in our contract
Because at the blink of an eye
The strike of a match
or the click of a street light
Our loved ones will look at
their watches and say she
was supposed to be here
And they will never guess the
Unthinkable
because we donít have the luxuries of
shortcuts or saving time
That wasnít in our contract
So maybe in another lifetime
We can stroll through alleys during
Sunny afternoons without constantly
looking over our shoulders
or tensing our muscles at the sound
of a stray dog rumbling through trash cans
So maybe in another life time
We donít have to walk swiftly
Through alleys on sunny afternoons
but stroll with ease and take shortcuts if we want to.

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