Belinda From Biloxi - Poem by James Bredin
I saw Belinda from Biloxi three or four seats ahead,
With her red hair still piled high on top of her head,
As the subway shuddered onward she seemed so much at ease,
And just like twenty years ago she always showed her knees.
Her skin was fair and freckled and she had that haughty air,
Of someone who caught a millionaire and was barely aware,
Of the guys who kept glancing over in her direction,
Some who looked stupid glaring at her perfection.
Of course she didn't recognized me; I had grown old.
As I tried to remember and let my memory banks unfold,
To the first time that I met her when she casually did admit,
That her husband was in jail for doing a mafia hit.
She said she was an American and only here for a while,
I could tell by her accent, she had lots of Southern style,
Though she left me mesmerized, I still had to pretend,
I wasn't tempted by her charms; I had business to attend.
I wrote my police report, which I immediately did ignore,
But I sure remember Belinda and everything that she wore,
And then I found that half the division knew her by name,
And each lowered his voice and whispered as in shame.
The next time that I saw Belinda, into court she did walk.
She sat right before the judge with those legs that could talk.
And then her probation officer; it was obviously prearranged,
Gave evidence for an hour ‘bout how she had changed.
And then the judge let her walk and watched her as she left,
Can't remember the charge; was it prostitution or theft?
We all looked disappointed as she walked out the door,
As if someone should run after her; invite her back for more.
The next time that I saw her, it was quite a surprise,
She was living in welfare housing with the cockroaches and the flies,
She was pushing a baby carriage and seemed so domesticated,
Good I thought she met a man and now she's dedicated.
Monique was her daughter's name and I watched them through the years,
You could never forget Belinda whenever she appears,
Her little girl grew up beside her and she had the same physique,
Is that little girl four rows ahead Belinda or Monique?
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