Above the Tree Line

by Dick Gallup

Dick Gallup

It's a putrid kind of day
To be standing on a corner
Counting pigs
But that's where it's at
People going to work
Their faces still asleep
They look porky
Overfed and greedy
A few years ago
At 8:30 in the morning
I'd eat myself some grits and eggs
And feel like shit
The sun hurt my eyes
Hung over on methedrine

Don't take that stuff anymore
It'll turn your body into grits
And that's nowhere for a body
But all those swollen faces
Staring back at me
As if they were looking at themselves
In some reflexive mirror of dreams
Startled into early morning metabolism

I couldn't take them
Turned into pigs by Capitalism
And a clock
I felt like some ghostly '40's hipster
Wondering why everyone was fighting
Over a trough full of mush

I was just a kid
Thought I was out of it
But everyone
Even those sleepy faces
Was backing into a nightmare
And now that we're here
It seems perfectly natural
To watch the hard edges grow between people
To see everyone
Growling over the scraps of the meal
We've gorged ourselves on all these years

It doesn't matter if I turned away
From the feast
Tacking the hours of the night
When everyone was asleep
As my own
Digging the streets
With an empty stomach
And a typewriter in my head

In the end
It'll get you where you live
If the neighborhood folds
You can move
If the city turns nasty
You can leave
But if the country goes down
You'll know it

Last updated November 02, 2022