For this poem I chose to mimic William Wordsworth’s “London, 1802” poem. I really just tried to follow the format of a Petrarchan sonnet, paying close attention to the rhyme scheme of “abba abba cdccdc” as well as the Volta that happens in the ninth line. For the most part I just wanted to write a story of a homeless man visiting the beach as he basks in the sun and joyous laughs that surround him before he chooses to end his own life at sea. I didn’t want to write anything super intricate, really, I just wanted to have fun with the Petrarchan sonnet. However, I did try to mimic Wordsworth in that sense of praising a being–in my case the laughter from the children. So enjoy!
standing at a parking meter—adding hours just in case—
faint laughs pass me by, wearing bright shades in the sun.
where the sidewalk turns to sand, I see children run,
they pass families—ignoring their own—to the ocean they race.
white, brown, black, yellow—children of all race.
taking comfort in the waves that push & pull—the fun’s begun.
running to the water, I hear them laugh a song in unison.
such sounds resting softly on the water makes for a heavenly place.
but the sounds escape me as I drown under, helplessly alone,
thinking of the parking meter I paid for. I hope it really helps,
for I don’t own a car, not a home, and no—not even a phone.
the children play still, I faintly hear, while my tears are unknown.
lamenting in the ocean, alone, only I can hear my lungs’ final yelps.
twelve years without a home and with one last cleanse, I am regrown.
–Daniel Lizaola Lopez