The Tower Journal

Robert Buchanan


Glaring midday sun raked the intersection
as a young man waited for the light to turn,
seemingly a throwback to the old frontier,
say, Daniel Boone or Jim Bridger,
with ragged clothes and long, unkempt hair,
an unwelcome weed besmirching
the manicured university campus.

He was no student brandishing
his middle finger at the system
with feigned apathy and Bohemian grunge.
Students don?t push
a purloined wire grocery cart
piled high with pitiful remnants
of steadily worsening times?
a Conestoga wagon with black plastic wheels,
dragged slowly westward by the man,
once hopeful pioneer,
          now a slave,
          an ox with two legs;
a Conestoga that long ago strewed
anything of value God knows where
          across the deserted prairie;
a Conestoga filled from fetid Dumpsters,
everything else cast without ceremony 
          into the bottomless hole in his soul.

A graying couple watched from their car, stopped
as the light changed, signaling the young man
to silently strain at his cart.
Time was, they would have
wondered about his family and friends,
tried to comprehend the incomprehensible.
Today, they grasped everything,
without so much as a word?

Copyright © 2014 Robert Buchanan

Bob Buchanan’s poetry collection, Beyond The Wall, has been published by Cardinal House Publishing and was listed as a “Best Poetry Book” for May, 2014, by Grace Cavalieri in the Washington Independent Review of Literature. His work has appeared in multiple literary journals, including the Atlanta Review. He is active in the Scottsdale poetry community, and he has a new collection of work coming out in 2015.

The Tower Journal
Fall/Winter 2014