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Read Poems by tom mcmurray

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Below are poems written by poet Tom Mcmurray. Click the Next or Previous links below the poem to navigate between poems. Remember, Poetrysoup is an environment of encouragement and growth. Thank you.

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A fine mist of rain falls silent 
on his thin, sharp-angled face. 
He picks up the pace and tilts 
his head to the wind. He walks 
through the plundered slumber  
of crumbled poverty, abandoned, 
in human acclimation to feral 
creatures who crawl and scuff 
their blood-rough nails on the 
concrete remains of multi-ethnic, 
immigrant history. 

He walks on and hears the 
oddly familiar sounds coming 
from his once attended Public 
School#59. Echoes still drift 
along the faded asphalt haze 
of time. These echoes ring with
elemental bones of hope: 
children breaking out and through 
the gunmetal gray, graffiti scarred
doors to be swallowed by the 
saturated heat of inner-city rage. 

Past gothic, orthodox, cathedral 
mausoleums which sit darkly, like 
ancient stoics, and stare through 
amber and crystalline-blue 
stained-glass eyes, focused 
outward with a small kernel of 
eternal mustard seed hope: 
One day, souls will once again return 
to warm the sacerdotal pews with holy 
order flesh and faith. 

Past the Puerto Rican market 
where a dead pig's head leads 
the carnivore parade of mastication 
promise every day. A meat market 
window of letted-blood and death 
reminiscent of Amsterdam whores 
who sit naked in street-level windows 
exposing their pale, dissipated 
bodies to the stares of dead-eyed, 
vacant, male hunger outside. 

He comes to the grime and grit 
of an empty lot covered by old 
and broken concrete slabs. He 
stops and lets his mind wander 
back in time. He sees a woman,
wearing a ratted, fox-tail wrap 
around her neck.

She holds a long, un-filtered 
cigarette, loose, between her 
her bright, fuchsia painted lips. 
She wears a black velvet hat 
with a veil to her nose. A straight
black dress that flows below
her knees and stops mid-calf 
above her high-heel, shiny-black, 
patent leather shoes. 

He can almost see, through the 
blur of a chiaroscuro choreography, 
his mother conversing with the
Kazakhstan neighbors of his youth, 
in the haze of this dreamlike memory. 

She would hold her cigarette 
between fuchsia lips and wear 
that ratted fox-tail wrap until 
one day, finally, the cancer cough 
began to spew Chesterfield blood 
on the molted fox-tail head of her 
belov-ed fur. 

Then she went to bed. 
Went to sleep. 
And died. 

Quietly, pigeons gathered and cooed 
on that slate-gray, New York City dawn.

Copyright © tom mcmurray | Year Posted 2017

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