Poems

Damian Balassone: Two Poems

The Girl Who Hugs Dogs

The girl who hugs dogs

is teased by the boys

across the street. 

The twang of their taunts

is like a chorus of demons. 

She has no friends here …

except of course for the tree clown,

who, when the full moon rises,

descends from the plum tree

and dances for her in bare feet. 

Damian Balassone

 

 

 

 

Boy at the Bus Stop

The young man found the crowded stop

in flannelette and mustard cap,

the bus would take him to the crop

where he would meet the working chaps.

Just yesterday he finished school,

the day before he felt the cane,

his father labelled him the fool

and said that he deserved the pain.

But school was now a distant star

and Rosa’s face, a teary blur,

and loneliness became his scar

whenever he remembered her.

 

And still the bus stop crowded more,

the expectation filled the air,

the rumbling sound, the flapping door,

the coldness of the driver’s stare.

The young man stomped his cigarette

and made his way towards the queue,

a widow brushed his flannelette

and scampered for her window view.

And on the bus he saw a seat

beside a slick-haired businessman,

who spread his arms and stretched his feet,

deterred, the youngster chose to stand.

 

The morning sun was on the rise,

it peeked above the distant hills,

the driver shut his weary eyes,

awaiting for the bus to fill.

And when it filled, the engine roared­­­­—

the bus let out a grieving cry;

the young man dreamt of days before,

and here he knew his youth had died.

But school was now a distant star,

and Rosa’s face, a teary blur,

and loneliness became his scar

whenever he remembered her. 

Damian Balassone

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