Three Poems

Charles Simic

They promised us free lunch
And all we got Edna
Is wind and rain
And these broken umbrellas
To wield angrily
At cars and buses
Eager to run us over
As we struggle to cross the street.

The woman I adore is a saint
Who deserves to have
People falling on their knees
Before her in the street
Asking for her blessing.
Instead, here she is on the floor,
Hitting a mouse with a shoe
As tears run down her face.

Don’t go psst on me
With a finger
Over your lips,
You seated behind me at the movies,
Or in church
Where I bow my head to pray,
Or in this dive
Where I’m the sole customer,
Hushing me
Out of some dark corner
As I hum to myself
With eyes closed
Thinking of god-knows-what.