by Dave Hood
Like a hawk searching for prey, the man,
who’s on parole, swoops in, grabs the black purse
from an elderly woman who looks like a scare crow in a mink coat.
Grey haired, wrinkled face, no makeup—She’s on her way
to an appointment at the upscale hair salon.
Clenching the purse like a wild dog, he sprints away,
with no destiny,
along the city street, as if fearing for his freedom and safety,
past a row of parked automobiles,
past the transit bus filled with people gawking,
past the street vendor cooking sausages,
through a crowd who are nameless strangers with long faces lost in thought,
down another street lined with Mercedes, SUVs, hummers,
past the shops where faceless mannequins are attired in opulent fashion,
where the rich and famous shop, then to a derelict building,
where he opens a rusty metal door with a sign that says, “No Trespassing.”
He sprints up the rickety stairs,
one flight, two flights, three flights,
floor boards creaking, feeling as if they will disintegrate,
arriving at another door, leading to the rooftop.
Desperately, fearfully, he pulls the metal handle,
attempts to open the door–but it’s locked
like the door of a prison cell. Exasperated, he kicks the handle
with his dirty Doc Martin boot— the handle of the illusion to freedom
which falls on the rotting wooden floor. He stares at it….
A few moments later, he hears the intimidating footsteps of angry police officers,
They are climbing the stairs. They sound like a vengeful gang of thugs,
voices screaming,” We’re going to get you.”