Thursday, September 27, 2012

News Driven Visions Strike Again through Poetry


Cinéma Vérité
By Nordette N. Adams

A mother creeps through the streets
of New Orleans. Her dress has the hue
of fresh blood because her children
are dead. She clangs an old cowbell,
     shouting:

"You thought it was a movie, but

the Zombie Apocalypse is here.
People fear leaving their homes
because the dead-eyed
swarm.

"I have seen the walking dead.
Their teeth gleam as bullets,
seeking warm flesh, biting necks,
infecting. They fall upon our
town, old City of the Dead,
new City of Dread, where
they, futureless, aim AK47s
at the heads of their reflections,
futureless, copulating with the Void.

"Romero may now be named a prophet, or
in the words of Paul Revere revised,
'The zombies are coming! The Zombies
are here!' See them," she points
toward the corner of Washington and
Carrollton Avenues, ten steps from a college
by Gert Town, not far from Holly Grove,
minutes from the Sheriff's office.

"See how they stagger beside the canals,
listening for the sounds of our rising,
listening for the rhythm of our breathing,
listening for the rush of our blood.

"See them," she yells, "cruising
in their pimped trucks,looking
for their kind who love plastic,
metal, and stone more than they may
ever love the beautiful drool of a baby's
budding kisses on a parent's cheek;
yet, they seek zombie brides to bear
their zombie children who will arrive
next to your children some day, dead-eyed
at school, famished, never having known
the fragance of a healthy father
who lives with sweet promise.

From all directions a chorus chants:
"Shaped by zombie life into the image
of a grave, these zombie children limp
into the world, unable
to see beyond the gloom, unable
to jump at the sun, unable
to make room for life's potential
unable to leap or run the obstacle
course the sytem's laid out for them."

The mother wrings her hand, then wipes her
palms against her red dress, hollering
her madness, "I wish I could tell you
different. I wish I had an intelligible
hope to pray, but I am at the end
of heavenly tongues. Dear Lord, mercy."
She gazes down Broadway, taking in its
tarred-over pot holes, its ugly lumps.
They look like burial mounds to her.
"I fear Death has won!"

A man of the city comes and stands beside her.
He carries something she had tossed in a ditch.
Falling to the hem of her dress, he sobs:
"Take up your sword, again, Spirit of Truth.
Might not you birth more children?"

He lifts his head to the skies,
"Take up your healing salve,
O' Love. Apply it to her eyes.
Take up your golden quiver,
Courage. Pierce our inner breasts.
And you, Justice, take to your great
chariot. Deliver to us a warrior's
endurance and wisdom, revive
in us a savior's heart. Providence,
shall you not arm those willing to fight
for light in the city
with the arrows and the skill to slay
the Cyclops of Violence?

"Yes, we have empowered it to spit its virus
into our streets, into the nostrils
of the hopeless, but will you let the remnants
of hope perish with the horde?
Take up your garment of grace."

He reaches for the mother's hand and
strokes it. She sits beside him. They
tarry a while and try not to shudder
at the sssuhhhhhh-sssuhhhhhh of dragging feet,
at the groans and growls of dead throats.
They think of how a giggling toddler sounds,
and then they plead for a way,
a way to rewire the zombie mind,
a way to call the children home
before the Void comes culling
a larger share.

© Copyright  2012 Nordette N. Adams 
Cross-posted at The Urban Mother's Book of Prayers.

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