by Midnight Moon
Wild Poetry Forum
Second Place, June 2022
Judged by R.T. Castleberry

Do not think I am strange,
she says, as her eyes swerve
like whisky in a glass
toward the sky

You don’t see
the howling moon,
freight train tracks,
black clouds racing the sky

You don’t see
hoboes sitting cross legged
so the jerking train
does not knock them flat

You don’t see the swamplands
passing by, with broken cat tails
and birds careening so slow
you almost fly outside, too

It is me, I am the deviant
I am the one who never learned how to write
the one whose railroad grease
makes dark, kohl lines around her sparkly black eyes

The urge to go, to move and travel while being restricted by pandemic closings is evident in the middle verses repetition of, “You don’t see/the howling moon; You don’t see/hoboes sitting cross legged; You don’t see the swamplands/ passing by…” While the beginning and final lines: “Do not think I am strange; It is me, I am the deviant,” highlight how isolation has caused us to drift from all connection. --R.T. Castleberry