The wind was blowing; it was cold,
No moon or stars that night,
A lonely, most pathetic soul,
Hovered near a lone street light.
Too much makeup; too few clothes,
Sadly comical to see,
Her skirt too tight; runs in her hose,
A flimsy boa swinging free.
Cars drove by; some slowed down,
Others picked up speed,
Gents in tuxes; gals in gowns,
Their thoughts, she knew, as they drove by,
She saw their wicked grins,
She turned her head and dropped her eyes,
Hugged herself against the wind.
A black and white cruised up the street,
Down went the policeman's window,
"Come on, Mary, move your feet,"
He snickered, called her, "Bimbo."
Mary did, as the policeman said,
Moved back into the dark,
Sometimes she wished that she were dead,
So heavy, laden her poor heart.
Then Mary walked down by the docks,
Crossing bridges on her way,
The midnight bells of a harbor clock,
Announced the ending of the day.
She leaned against a steel bridge rail,
The water rushing far below,
Her skin was clammy; her face was pale,
Her pulse, beating very slow.
Mist and fog were swirling round,
A dampened chill engulfed her,
A lone fog whistle crossed the sound,
She stood frozen like a sculpture.
Darker, colder, grew the night,
Nothing human near,
Mary shuddered then with fright,
Shoulders hunched in cold and fear.
The next day, not much around,
The bridge itself was bare,
Except abandoned on the ground,
A matted boa lying there.
What took place that night - who knows?
A lone, un-witnessed scene,
A mystery in the shadows,
Forever secret, so it seems.
Was Mary flesh or Mary specter?
Was she inside, behind that mask?
Why did love and life reject her?
Who knew? Who cared? Who asked?
"Mary, Mary, quite contrary,
How does your garden grow?"
In the back streets of the city,
No one really wants to know.
Well, one less person now to laugh at,
One less nuisance on the street,
One less piece of human riff-raff,
One more reason Jesus weeps.
Virginia (Ginny) Ellis
copyright 2000 ~ revised 2004
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