NOTICED

Michelle Schaefer

noticed not you

I leave early before your first yawn
before the sun yellows the walls of your room
the bus I take motors through urine stained streets
and bottoms out into the funk of the city
I grab a donut stale and crusted over in places where it shouldn’t beand swish coffee over my tongue as I try
not to swear
it’s my second job or first, the clock just keeps punching back
but it’s paying bills so I march in time and don’t complain

noticed not you

I wasn’t born privileged the word almost to rich to say
so I have to get moving—knees knocking together when I run because my transfer won’t wait
as the door is closing
on the dim slim light of opportunity that picks and chooses who to let squeak in and who to leave gasping on the other side I got lucky today
the turn-style is circling in my direction
it isn’t often that it happens so I try not to gloat

noticed not you

I get in line because there’s always a line
and I stand behind you and wait
nothing is foolproof, water proof or bulletproof—wear thicker skin so I take my chances on what I know
It’s more than being street smart and hip… just saying
dreams are for the brave so I sleep light
I figure that things will change if you’re a fighter
evolve for the better as they say
and when it comes I’ll still see you coming before you see me

noticed not you

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