National War Tax Resistance Coordinating Committee

Blossoms, Tax Day, Woman

Out of the corner of my eye
I see pink clusters.
The peach tree is in blossom! The bees are out, too.
This is a relief.
The weather is all screwy, after a warm winter.
I go up close. I follow the flights of the bees and the small non-bees,
a giant noticing small life.

Then it’s into my car and bouncing
down the driveway, peach tree and tight-budded pear tree
left behind. Half of life is leaving behind.

In Concord I do
activist duty at the Post Office.
I’ve a sheaf of leaflets, an armful of blossoms.
People might choose peace over war. They might agree
our military spending is out of control.
Such a needy world, here and there.

Here a woman sits
on the curb next to me, her loose shirt half
off her shoulder, her orange-colored hair sparse and lank. Vibrancy
in her eyes, however. We talk, interrupted
by my leaflet offering. People are taking it! Take it!

She’s Cindy Shute. She’s waiting for the Heights bus.
Why don’t they put out a park bench?
Why do some buses let on only the elderly? I could write
A petition. I’ve already asked so many times. More
Buses are for the elderly only. I don’t know how to spell elderly.
I’ll write old.

I have to give away my cat. I have to go live with my sister.
I can’t live any more on what our father split among us, his small annuity.

Her cat is sixteen and named Mischief. Like Cindy
Mischief has diabetes. Cindy
looks for work, but her lack of skills holds her back.
I like her. I like her.
The bus comes and she gets on and goes away.
I leaflet. I leaflet.

—Lynn Chong, April 17, 2012