John Laue


America. A
Flag’s inkblot shadow shivers
In this cool fall breeze.

Left by miles high jets
In a California sky,
Two long chalk lines cross.

In shadow from a
Huge Confederate statue,
Young black lovers kiss.

Watching bats emerge
Like smoke from beneath a bridge,
Immigrant children.

Homeless man by the
Roadside with a small dog. His
Sign reads, I will work!

They put it on the
Back page, this latest death from
Restless depression.

Roadside bombing? No
It wouldn’t happen here. And
Ma’am we have good schools.

With a pop pop here,
A crack crack there, everywhere
A bang bang boom boom—

John Laue, teacher/counselor, a former editor of Transfer, San Francisco Review, and Monterey Poetry Review, has won awards for his writing beginning with the Ina Coolbrith Poetry Prize at The University of California, Berkeley. With five published poetry books, a sixth (A Confluence of Voices Revisited, Futurecycle Press), come out last year, and a book of prose advice for people diagnosed as mentally ill, he presently coordinates the reading series of The Monterey Bay Poetry Consortium.