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May 01, 2015

A Message (lost in transit) from the Homeless for Ronald Reagan President of The United States Poem written by Andrew W. Taylor Saturday, March 1st, 1986



A  Message (lost in transit) from the Homeless for Ronald Reagan President of The United States, Friday Feb 28 1986

[Historical note: See accompanying photo. Secret Service agents surround two unidentified men on Friday Feb 28 1986 after they climbed over the White House fence. They were attempting to deliver a letter about the homeless to President Ronald Reagan at his home in Washington, D.C.
Ottawa Citizen, Saturday, March 1, 1986]


On Friday February 28 1986
In Washington
between the bright sun
and blinding snow
between the White House
and the poor
between the anxiety of hunger
and the ingenuous wild hope for redress
two roughed passionate men
dropped over the elegant spikes of the security fence
all elbows fusty underpants and black fingernails
clutching a letter about the homeless
about the hopeless their silent comrades
addressed to Ronald Reagan President of the United States

These messengers (fallen angels)
Scampering at first and laughing with the beauty of excited children
Then opaquely sinking knee-deep into the softening snow
Snared by its change of phase
But blundering on their oversized old men’s overcoats
Flapping at their throats and strange beards
At their sopping trousers full of snow and piss
At their seraphic talons
Clutching the people’s plea to the President of the United States
Jobless they made a solemn joyful business
Of running the gauntlet of the manicured trees
Of the surveillance cameras
Of the sentry nests
As if there were a certain chance
Of winning their race
Of ennobling their class in the pole-vault
In this despised marathon
This unfunded wastrel rat-race of the day and of the night
Of Monday and of Friday and of this day

And their boy’s eyes caught that Friday sunshine
Like washed store-front windows
And they shouted like fans
And the wind and the glare made them cry
And so when the cruel birds fell out of their nests
A flock of trained falcons
Swooping from their ancient places on the rawhide glove
Of the bourgeois cowboy,
From the gauntlet of the dazed mad actor

They were it seemed blinded and amazed
At the logical blows that fell
At the elegant half-Nelsons
At the armed men’s aerobic prisons
Which captured them frozen in the snow
Their hands outstretched and bodies passionlessly embraced by experts

As if this transitory winter sculpture of the encircled messengers
Were more eloquent than the envelope falling from their hands
Falling into the hungry snow.

Poem written by Andrew W. Taylor
Saturday, March 1st, 1986

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