3 Women

This month marks one whole year since I started my blog, which seems pretty amazing to me since little over a year ago I didn’t even know the difference between a blog and a website!  I’m still old-fashioned in many ways, and spent most of my life avoiding computers as I never did like the darned things too much.  But since embarking upon this blogging adventure I must say I have so enjoyed sharing some of my poetry, stories, numerology and various other rantings and ravings!…And, not least of all, I have made some truly awesome connections with kind souls, so interesting and deep, the world over, which quite may well not have happened if not for this online experience and the opportunity afforded me by WordPress.  And the many, many blogs I have encountered behind those souls have been incredible glimpses into incredible minds…so much talent and heart out there and I feel graced to be a tiny part of this collective of expression, this unique collage of humanity…

In commemorating this year of e-sharing, I would like to reprint the very first piece I posted here one year ago in my “Maiden Voyage” entry, my very first online poem; also  the first poem I EVER typed into a computer!  (always having created with pen and paper, it’s just the way I roll…)  This poem was originally written in December of 2008:


Riding the bus
Fillmore 22
Jackson 3
On my way
Making the connection
Sitting in the shack
A little old lady walks up
takes one look at me and says
“Well not much excitement going on over here, eh?…”
And then she grinned a perfect grin, with perfect fake teeth
in a perfectly precisioned face, so delicately lined
and framed with an old-fashioned chiffon scarf tied around her chin
A stemmed flower pin on her coat lapel
She had a big beautiful lower hook nose
which set down impeccably into her features
And a twinkle in her eye, her face just glowed
She reminded me of someone
She looked like all of my grandparents put together, plus
an old friend or two
She sat down beside me and started talking
All of her 88 years poured forth in her wisdom, tried and true
Long term observations, reflecting…
“Lived in the City all my life”, she began, “mostly in the Mission
but all over the City…
On New Year’s Eve my sisters and me would go downtown and stay there
way past midnight–in dresses, mind you, girls didn’t wear pants back then
In dresses we’d go out and stay out all night
They couldn’t do that now without trouble…
We used to go downtown and see the parade, they had
New Year’s parades on Market Street back then, you know
We could go there unhasseled, safely…
Yeah I just came from lunch at the senior center on Sutter Street…
Back when I was young the Tenderloin was a classy neighborhood
The nicest places, classy clubs, there was a skating rink
and a really nice bowling alley
I used to work as a waitress in the bowling alley…
Yeah back then times were nice, the streets were clean
No public garbage cans on the street, even, there was
no need for ’em, people kept their garbage at home…
Nobody had insurance and we never got sick…
There were no people living on the street, not
anything like today, nobody sleeping in doorways…
In the middle of the Great Depression, which I lived through, nobody
was sleeping in doorways, if someone was down and out, they
knocked on the door and we brought them in and fed them
Mother left the door unlocked, and if someone was having a hard time
we’d take them in and feed them, that’s what people did…”

The bus came
we got on and sat side by side
Her stories ceased in the precense of other strangers
Her mind switching channels, perhaps
Back to the present and her intended errands
When her stop came
she said her goodbyes
and trucked on down the steps
with cane expertly in hand
like someone who could not be held back on account of
some age and lots of mean changes
She owned the streets because she was fearless

On the way back
Another woman
from another generation
Maybe in her 50’s
Waiting on the reverse connection home…
“It’s just the Jackson 3 now”, she informed, “the 2 bus stopped running at
8:00, on account of all the shootings up by the projects, you know
Up by Baker and Broderick, that’s where it’s bad, man, people getting
murdered, that’s why the 2 bus don’t run late no more…
I lived on Sutter for 33 years
In the Tenderloin no one bothers you
Down in the Tenderloin these days they just leave you alone
Not like the projects, they’ll mess you up there…
It’s the crack, it’s all because of the crack
That all started in the 80’s and it just never let up
Just got worse and worse…”
She then mumbled quickly about some personal association
Casually gesturing with her facial expressions and
shaking her head, wrinkling her nose, dismissing
Purposely blurring her words right then as though it was not
something she wanted advertised, seemed to get lost in the
traffic noises anyway, but must be included in this discourse
if only to show that she really did know from experience
Still shaking her head, rushing the sentence
and slightly waving her hand, signing it off…
“…but…naw…not for me…
all those people on the street…
crack friends, what kinds of friends are those?
I’d call them on the phone, they’d always say
‘can’t talk now, gotta go’…gotta go, they gotta go score, that’s what
Gotta go find the next hit
And when they’re not high they’re sleeping…
The rest of us are just waiting, have just been waiting it out
for so long for them to come back around
We’ve been waiting a really long time but it’s just not gonna happen
Too much damage, it’s too late
The damage has been done
It’s Satan’s candy, you know
The damage has been done…”

By then the bus had arrived and we got on together
When her stop came she told me God loved me
and stepped off into the mean and beautiful
the eloquently ruthless unstoppable night


About Unsungpoet

Life-long poet, numerologist, author of other previously unpublished works :)
This entry was posted in Other Stuff, Photos, Poetry and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

12 Responses to 3 Women

  1. Vampire Weather says:

    Happy anniversary! It is wonderful to share this with you, my friend

  2. Congrats on one year, my friend! I didnt realize before that you were into numerology….I am a master 11 btw…… love the poem here, I thought it was well written…..It has been a while since we have touched base, and I hope life is treating you well. Pop by for a visit when you have time…..nice to connect again…..
    love to you

    • Unsungpoet says:

      Thanks so much for taking the time…11 is awesome…has surfaced as milestones in my life for as long as I can remember…many signatures dates, etcetera! It’s really great to hear from you, hope life is well on your side of the globe…sending good thoughts your way…

  3. Ben Naga says:

    A good start. Yes indeed. 🙂

  4. willowdot21 says:

    obviously as good now as it was then!

  5. jdmiller85 says:

    Reblogged this on JD Miller Posts.

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