These People

By: Anele Rubin

Featured art: Green Park by Dorothea Tanning

These people strolling through the park
with baby carriages and frisbees
have no idea
my sister choked to death
on a sausage
after being released
from a mental hospital down south
but they may know I’ve been crying
and wonder what I’m writing
in my little yellow book
sitting in the grass next to the only dandelion
left in the park

with my big black dog
whose fur is shaven on one side
and they may notice
I’m wearing yesterday’s clothes
and my gray hair hasn’t been combed lately,
but maybe not,
because a young woman with a child
stops before me,
asks where the duck pond is
and waits, smiling,
as I explain the best route
and her little girl
looks right in my face,
asks if she can pet my dog
and what his name is, says
he’s pretty.


Anele Rubin’s poetry has appeared in Cutthroat, Poet Lore, Chariton Review, Rattle, Atlanta Review, Miramar, Chattahoochee Review, Paterson Literary Review, and elsewhere. Her poetry collection Trying to Speak was published by Kent State University Press. She lives in upstate New York.

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