Laura Lonshein Ludwig

The Soldier Leaves the Selling Floor

When the woman looks upon her tormentor,
she can see the tears in his eyes.
She cries too, knowing that he is capable of so much
He does not take a step towards that mountain of thought
De-evolved like a squirrel with no heart
He leans toward the animal call.

Naked mother screams
Hands pull the lever
The sameness is set
The voting booth, curtain closed

Home sweet home
Rainbows swell
Great white yell
Flags wave unattended
The vet dies in a cold white sheet, sunlight dances.
The wall sings the ballad of death, the breeze.

Grandma rocking the chair,
Watching the stars fade from her sight
91 years pass,
Meals served on time, fear never in her step.
I am her daughter
The chair leaks the blood of a universe

The rocking chair grows cold,
My grandfather lies dead
His silence ended
When death comes someone sits back and watches the stars

Trapped, our generation lost
You in the park eating your flesh
A late bloomer
That heated chocolate taste, climbing to the roof of your mouth
Dissolving in the bittersweet taste
Like the first trip to the dentist
A myth preserved locks its jaws in our flesh

The cage haunts me, when pulled for freedom
it is the prison of the human race.
It sticks to the mirror, fate worse than death
Would you know the future, if it was in your past?

Two invisible middle-aged roads.
The salesman walks.
Stubborn man pushes the door of security,
till it breaks from his weight.
The woman admired for her honesty cannot hide her last smile

Like a paperweight you fondled by the water
stand small and heavy still. The tap of your father's feet haunt you
You only did what you had to.
The American way
Haunted by Hollywood homes for children born too late
You love your family, God, and the USA.

Women are like Goddesses, they speak too much,
but have nothing to say.
Strong in their place.
They choke you now in their pin-striped smiles.
Nothing left to fight, when reality is at last
the evidence of the crime, that nothing does exist.

The last sale, no one buys it!
Go east, young man, or west, old fellow.
There is plenty of nothing where that came from
Memories of mother's neck stretched out

Be careful, don't stay with those hoodlums.
You are a good boy.
Don't stay with her, she goes with everyone
Mother is not yelling, she lies in the ground.
You hear her still
Did you hear me? she asks.

Never stay with strangers.
What is that you are wearing?
Never leave a job undone.
What is that you are listening to?
Never say never, unless a commie pinko liberal attacks you.
Do   you dare to walk away from me!
You are not what I thought.

You fondled that girl like she was a Shirley Temple doll.
Beat your daughter into the night when she slept with your best friend
Don't play with dolls mother said. And she was right.

She screams at you as you fall to the floor
You'll never be a success in that black leather jacket
in those underalls

You are not a girl, you are a man.
Make us proud son and stand tall...
Why did they let you fall to the barroom stool
and down to the peanut-shelled floor.

About the Author

Laura Lonshein Ludwig is a playwright, actress, poet, producer, director, and activist. She is known primarily for her program, Laura Ludwig's The Earth Is Not on Tape, a long-time favorite on Brooklyn Cable Access Television, and her film, The Man on the Street is Without a Prayer. Ms. Ludwig currently serves as a staff member of both Medicinal Purposes Literary Review and The Museum of Sound Recording. She is the author of Robo Sapiens (Xlibris).

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