“All truths wait in all things,” wrote Walt Whitman in “Song of Myself.”
I wait for that truth; I take notes.
In the probation office this morning, Walt’s singing.
I record his music in a blue book.
Where, a man says, “Alcohol is my gig.”
Where, a rebuffed kiss got him three busted ribs.
Where, she cracked a beer bottle on his head.
Where, smoking pot burns a slit windpipe.
Where, poinsettias pen forced reports.
Where, Captain Crunch proves dangerous in the checkout line.
Where, a man in a three-piece suit reads Macbeth.
Where, the state stages another ventriloquism show.
Where, a grandmother falls asleep on her phone.
Where, she can’t fill a beaker with piss.
Where, a man can’t write an action plan because he can’t spell.
Where, I didn’t offer him help.
Where, I failed him right there.