Ode to the Scum of the Earth or What Remains by Cynthia Bryant

His days no longer preoccupied
In search of prey
He hunches over chin to chest
Bony elbows rest atop arms
Of the iron chair
While wormy tubes
Feed body’s memory
Of a life spent

The man
Once ambitious with testosterone
Houses muscle broken down
His skin waxy
Almost translucent
Wraps fragile purple veins
Like white cellophane
Clogged with low-life living

The thorny weapon
Formally brandished to demean
Hangs limp
In full retirement
Drains yellow waste
Into a bag
Between deadweight thighs

His once scheming leer
Imprisoned behind a catatonic trance
A drug induced slow dance
And unseeing eyes
That still refuse to blink
Memory guardians
To those fallen too far
To find their way home

Cynthia Bryant

First published in 1997 by two important journals dealing with childhood sexual abuse, Cynthia Bryant has since been published in over 50 anthologies. Her poetry is on numerous websites, an e-book and she has recorded her poems for play on e-radio as well as community television. She served the community Pleasanton, CA as their poet laureate 2005-2007 and again in 2011-2013 Cynthia’s poetry books Sojourn, Pebbles in the Shoe as well as No Time to Shoot the Poets have recently been accepted in the new Ina Coolbrith Circle library section in Sacramento’s State Library’s Special Collections Reading Room.




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