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A Poem in the Before Choice Disturbs collection

White Trash

(for F.B.)

Seeing you from the tram
today as you made your way
along the grass and sidewalk
one thing made itself perfectly clear.
You look like white trash. You have
the long, oiled hair-- flung far back,
the meandering rolling walk,
the shaven, yet still cragged and sagging face.

Even your clothes fit
the bill, like some kind
of uniform or costume.
I never saw it before. Maybe
it's only seen from far away?
So, I get off the tram and jog up to
where you are. The illusion is unbroken,
you've wandered off the trailer park,
out of the mines.

Now I've no choice but to
see you this way. Even when you
don your sportcoat, surrounded by
those prepubescent girls you
teach; deep in your
To Sir, With Love routine.
You'll always be white trash to me,
and that's the way, I think, you like it.

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