Death makes her frantic.

With a faded pamphlet at her station on the corner

She pumps her repetitious syllables of doom Into the sooty air.

The drenching rain, the chill Pacific storms

Cannot deflect her unrelenting pathos.

I saw her this December afternoon again.

A black babushka framed her fleshy face;

Her lips were like the underside of worms;

Her coat was soiled, her shoes were cracked and turned.

She wore no ornaments. She had no ring.

The Christmas shoppers, stopping for the light,

Dashing for buses, with their own intents,

Tuned to the blaring phonographs from stores,

Chattering in the wake of starting cars,

Winced their annoyance as they skirted her,

And in the festive, loud cacophony

They buried both her prophecy and verse.

“Repent” they buried, and they buried “Fear,”

The text, the chorus of her litany.

Mutter and mumble, and with downcast eye

Stare at the pavement where the fleeing feet

Trample upon the truth your madness loves,

Champion of God Jehovah.

I remember.

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