020. 156

by John Herzog

rapt in the gusts
floating so far from home
my fellow dandelion seed
you arrived at my apartment
shaking like tree branches
in the windy city's throes

a specter
a wisp of your self
of the friend I once knew
reciting senseless soliloquies
the voices in your head
taunting you
telling you
you're better off dead
that all that is left
is a life on the streets
below the Adams/Wabash
wrought iron canopy

I know these soliloquies well
I heard them from my father
whose head housed a choir
that never gave rest
til the day his rest was final
and I crucified myself
on the cross of his specter
that I could not save him

why could I not give him
a home?
a release
from choir's incantation?

but a home I cannot give you
for I am still finding my own
and I'm learning I need not bear
this burden any longer
I could not save my father
and I cannot save you
but I can send you back
down the 156 to fabled station
back to where you came

he planted dandelion roots
in my garden
that I've been weeding ever since
and I pray
you find land to take root
your own garden to tend
and the tools
to give it life


Author's Note: CTA bus route 156.

Posted on 09/25/2018
Copyright © 2021 John Herzog

Member Comments on this Poem
Posted by Glenn Currier on 10/05/18 at 03:21 PM

I love your CTA poems. But this one seems to have a special resonance with your speaking about not having control over others' dysfunctional actions and problems. It's a good realization and your poem reminds me to do take the same stance. Thanks John for another great piece.

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