Shannon Walker

In The Shadow Of St. Bernardine's - Poem by Shannon Walker

Those are tombstones standing in this graveyard,
And cemeteries don't believe in evergreens
As headstones are dead,
Horizontal and bloody, red;
Only tombstones have that hollow ring.

They go off like the Bells of San Bernardine's
At noon, Vespers at eve;
It's beautiful really.
But there's no Jordan River here and
Meadowbrook Park's no Garden of Gethsemane.

This is San Bernardino,
Old motels and railroads,
A dry riverbed, and
La Madrina in the window.

It's a wailing ghost show,
Weeds and weeping widows.
Oceans cry but deserts bleed;
It's San Bernardino.

That's why the lights are seldom on
At the Chevron, flickering in the street.
It's funny how it goes;
How the shadows twist and roll
When they all start huffin that gasoline,

And why the malls been empty since 96',
But there's music playing in the parking lot.
Not a car; it's 3AM,
And they're huffin gasoline again;
If you didn't know, you'd swear it was Halloween.

There are crows and casinos
In San Bernardino,
Joshua Trees and
La Santa in the window.

It's a raging ghost show,
Weeds and weeping widows.
Oceans cry but deserts bleed;
This is San Bernardino,

And the gold was gone long ago.
Just ask the ghosts up at old Belleville,
Not dead, but not quite alive,
Somewhere in between,
Like the Nun that haunts old St. Bernardine's

Medical Center. I bet she's had enough.
150 years of dumping bed
Pans; that's rough.
The engineers that brought the trains
Down the mountain; they're still here

In San Bernardino,
Gunfire and police codes,
Cutthroats, and
La Flaca in the window.

It's a ghost show,
Weeds and weeping widows.
Oceans cry but deserts bleed.
You're in San Bernardino

Captain, and you'd better check yourself.
Your bullshit won't get very far here,
Badass to tears in about 30 seconds.
You won't even get the car in gear,
Before the hammer drops and everyone clears

Out...Silence; everything resets.
You can leave eternal life to West L.A.
And its cemeteries.
We have tombstones here,
And a graveyard.

Topic(s) of this poem: home, mortality

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Poem Submitted: Sunday, July 2, 2017

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