Poem on the Subway

Marilyn Zelke Windau

Charles Simic was riding the R train.
His poem displayed there told me to look down at shoes.
Mine were wet from wintry mix in Brooklyn.

Across the rubber-matted aisle were tie ups
with tongues that licked ankles to mid-fibula.

In the next seat, she had gold pointies, to match her purse,
an image reflected in the seven-sided salt crystal
which dangled from her neck enchained.
Further down, black patent leather Mary Janes, 
once out, now again in style,
were thrust expansively
by huge grey tight-covered thighs,
crossed and exposed provocatively.

Charles Simic saw streams of smoke
rise over Brooklyn.
I see all these passengers who own themselves.
They are not looking at their earth-held shoes.
I watch over the shoes for them.

Marilyn Zelke Windau

Marilyn Zelke Windau

Marilyn Zelke Windau started writing poems at age thirteen, usually sitting in a quiet bathroom bathtub with a pillow in Highland Park, Illinois. One chapbook and two full-length books later, she will have a third published in 2018. She includes her maiden name to honor her writer father.