by Seth Rosenbloom
in lawn chairs
at a safe distance
cicada’s siren in the heat
while visiting your 82-year old mother
who wears a sunflower
face mask fashioned
after the van Gogh that hangs
in Philadelphia. In the museum
with the steps Stallone made famous.
Now nearby, tents occupy the lawn framing
the Ben Franklin parkway.
The daily skirmishes
the discharged canisters, the encampments,
have all trampled the grass—yellow.
A yellow that van Gogh would know, like the kind he laid on thick
the revolver to his chest.
After our backyard visit, we drive too fast on the Turnpike.
The message board entreats us
FOR QUARANTINE STATUS.
A pleated surgical mask wads on the floor mat.
across the Delaware
to Pennsylvania, a battleground state.
Coming down the ramp, a pickup truck guns it
swerving at a man with a cardboard sign
from the mouth of brotherly love.
We swallow any whiff
of stillness, careening
across this city
a grid between two rivers.
the museum steps
from the street lamp’s yellow.
The makeshift tents
then, the reassuring shutter.
call and response
of the power lock doors.
Seth Rosenbloom has written and acted in solo performances, mediated child custody disputes and built a management consulting practice. His poetry will appear in a forthcoming issue of The Main Street Rag. Seth lives in Seattle with his wife and son.