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   s o m e w h e r e    e l s e

--- P A T R I C K   K E L L Y

Eastern Europe no place for the newly miserable

No one lives here we all live somewhere else where life happens

Work happens here work and waiting to leave dreary evenings rain and snow rotten vegetables an Edward Hopper nightmare the only colors filthy yellow blood red and the joyless unrelenting gray

A bus rounds the corner the crush of people as if Christ himself were behind the wheel come to save us from this place

and these old ladies all belly breast and sharp elbows moustaches stippled on their angry lips

I press forward with them through folding doors to somewhere else the city waits on the other side a desperate whore with nothing but time

Inside the bus we wait and breathe and wait to be delivered the dead air hangs between our faces horrible shoes scuffing the floor

The bus lumbers forward jolting us old woman's hand clawing my sleeve no smile has touched her lips since the war

A hand swipes across the window translucent now with our moisture

Suddenly there are trees red-shingled roofs melting through snow then a field of brown stalks

The landscape a dirty sheet unfolding toward the horizon

Two hundred blackbirds descend like the shadow of a broken-hearted goddess

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