Trailer Court Crier

7/19/96, 5:42am


Old Man Ken from next door pounds his fist
on the glass & he’s full of fear, out of breath,
fire truck red in the face from the blood rush.
He runs from one house to the next, tells us all
there’s a wave big as the sky come for to sweep us
off our feet. Warns that the flood wants to feast on us,
to sate its rage with our blood & bones,
that those of us who choose to stay
in our homes may die. Old Man Ken says
we should run, fast as we can to the high place,
climb to the top of the tall hill, where the mud
can’t find us, where the stink of death & ruin will fade,
’til all we can smell in the air is pine pitch,
or a cool wind. Old Man Ken says

            when you can’t no more hear the sound of the creek’s jaws

            as they maul the things you have loved, when you can’t no more


            see the claws that snapped tree limbs make, stuck deep

            in the throat of what you call home, when the rain stops


            & you feel dry warmth on your skin for the first time


William James is a poet, aging punk rocker, and train enthusiast from Manchester, NH. He's a contributing editor at Drunk In A Midnight Choir and the author of rebel hearts & restless ghosts (Timber Mouse Publishing). Find him on Twitter @thebilljim or at