Friday, April 2, 2010

Public Notices

On the last page of our local paper
in the classifieds
just below junked cars
I first saw them about a year ago
in big blocks of tiny, scrunched text
under the heading
Public Notices

Infrequent at first
they were easy to overlook
until there were two or three each week
then today
when it’s really hitting the fan
there were nine

Nine addresses and nine family names
a stark public outing
of neighbors, co-workers, real people
each of them
one step closer
to homelessness

I’m struck that these tragic words
Public Notices
are only a fa├žade
that filters scant light
onto the invisible tragedies
of the newly dispossessed

What’s left to own
when you’ve lost where you live?
Only days filled with dread
the degradation of official-looking mail
its impact like an incoming sledgehammer
to the ribcages of those already down

Here now is the unsettling fear
that the blessed can’t ignore ~
more real than a Grimm Brothers wolf
or the vexing fear of a lethal trap
we could easily step into, causing
the sound of clicking steel
and the crunch of our own bones;
far worse is the loss of faith
in our own native gifts
and the cold uncertainty that this
somehow, someday
this could happen to us

~ J. D. Mackenzie

inspired by napowrimo prompt #3: scared yet?


  1. Yeah - there but for the grace...

  2. scary, no kidding

  3. I an all wackedoutwith thefuzzy eyeas orf Ativan

  4. nice. to the point. like it

  5. This is so real. Not like being afraid of bugs.

  6. So sorry about the incoherence of my comments above, left here at 1:26 & 1:31 am -- I had taken a sleeping pill and while coming under its influence, I was reading your blog... won't do that again... sorry ;(
    What I was trying to write was, "Wow, do tell it like it is"
    Image & Verse

  7. No it certainly is not like being afraid of bugs.