Travelers Welcome

Travelers Welcome

Thursday, May 16, 2013


by Alan Britt

How’d you come to this conclusion?

Leaning against lampposts,
following the opium trail
from Shanghai to London?

I hardly know you,
much less trust you.

How’d you suddenly
become my confidant?

Oh, now, I know you.

You promised Eastern Shore farmers
abundant corn
in the middle of a drought.

You promised everyone else Louisiana crabs
the size of badminton rackets
and rejoiced like the rest of us
at the sight of skinny blackbirds
warbling the graves
of West Virginia ancestors.

You warned us
if we fancied our cousin,
first or second-time removed,
we’d be quarantined for life
to a traveling circus
prowling Southeastern Florida
during the late 1950’s.

So, we remained hairdressers
and postal employees.

We waited for the big breaks
that never came our way.

In fact, we’re still waiting,
still waiting
for hollow politics
to restore our faith in humanity.

And regret, as we all know,
is a meal
best served raw.

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