Once Beautiful – A Poem by Sylvia Syms

An old lady with her walker by the corner of a street

Once Beautiful

Image by: Heidi

Shapely – once beautiful
Woman – now a reflection
Of drug war casualties

Dull eyes – foul mouth
Cursing cars that stop
Allowing her to cross and
Those that don’t offer her
Permission to propel herself
Forward via walker

In her midriff to mid-calf tight
Blue slitted skirt and red bra
Stops in the middle of the street
To free her patriotism from the
Width of those hips

Left foot socked and shod
Right foot casted and covered
With a filthy flag sock
AWOL OR POW still in battle
In this country in -LA County

Winces with the pain of ambulation
Wonder if a man call pimp crushed
Her leg or a driver that she cursed
Used his wheels as a weapon

Wonder if she knows
She was once beautiful
Wonder if she’ll be
Beautiful – once again

– 1996