Weekly Rentals

Detail of rusty 1960s Chevy Impala parked in t...

Detail of rusty 1960s Chevy Impala parked in the French Quarter of New Orleans. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Still there.
Two bikes lean against
brick walls confining poverty.
One, a child’s—
–rusty like the 70’s
Chevy out in front
(rusty, too,
and dented).

At Christmas,
tattered garland hung
on bent Venetian blinds.
The windows,
(overseers of an empty
parking lot)

smudged with finger prints.

Back then I thought
about the child. Thought
about the presents I could
buy, if only…
if only I knew a little more.

If only I’d take the time.

On Cemetery Road,
across the way,
clients fare far better.
Manicured lawns.
Marble facades.
No fear of cold.
Perhaps next time I’ll stop.
Perhaps next time.

Before it gets too cold.

Process note: Sadly, Reno is a city of extremes: extreme beauty and far-reaching poverty.  Unemployment in Nevada is highest in the nation, (over 13%) as is the foreclosure rating. Because of the economic times, people can’t afford to visit the casinos, thus many workers have lost their jobs. Nevada is turning its efforts to promoting its outdoors attractions (Tahoe, skiing, Kayaking etc… The family that lives in this weekly rental has been there way too long. I’ve never seen anyone–only the telltale signs of habitation.

For dVerse Open Link Night, hosted this week by the wonderful, though jet-lagged, Joe Hesch. Chances are, if you stop by the Pub, he’ll be so tired he’ll pour a little extra into that poetry shot glass.

Although I’m back from my blogging break (withdrawal was too hard) I am needing to cut back a bit. But I’ll be around, enjoying your company and your work, as often as I can.

25 thoughts on “Weekly Rentals

  1. wood says:

    i know these conditions, i’m currently plowing my way thru them myself (i lost my business a year ago) and ive been to reno, many times (though i never gamble) and i know the extremes you speak of. sometimes cemetery road looks like a better place, but then i’ve never liked leaving the movie theater early, even if the movie sucks. very well written, great descriptions.



  2. zongrik says:

    the images are great, and even better combined: the smudges, fingerprints, the rust, marble, manicured lawns. they all have their own textures too.

    when time races like a bullet


  3. I grew up in this kind of poverty, yet there was always someone with less like the girl in the one room apartment that washed her hair with soap. Touching and gives the reader space (which I so appreciate).


  4. You don’t have to look far to see evidence of the Haves and the Have Nots, do you? Very effective poem, Victoria.


  5. beckykilsby says:

    That’s a careful line, Victoria.. you walk it well to show two lives and leave us to respond. 🙂


  6. Irene says:

    You’ve painted a picture of poverty and the observer’s desire and failure to reach out in a concise poem, Victoria. I appreciated your process notes.


  7. leahJlynn says:

    startling statistic, a rustic and lovely seen. but the truth of it all not so much. good write.


  8. so descriptive like i was there in a story reflective to me


  9. Gay says:

    The contrast and concern are evident here, Victoria. The disparity in Reno a symbol for the divide occurring in the world. Everywhere the rich get richer, the poor get poorer and always children suffer. Such a subtle protest poem. So well penned!


  10. poemsofhateandhope says:

    So so nice, and sadly rooted in reality. Amazing how close these two different existences can be…yet so far away from each other. Excellent imagery…the fingerprints did it for me….and the seasonality you painted…sad but true….GREAT to see you posting for #OLN- I know you’re a busy bee!


  11. kaykuala says:

    Was in Reno some years ago passing by. It looked quiet somewhat a tired city. It was winter. The only outdoor activity was the ‘snow-scooter’ at the golf course where the par 5 fairway was converted as a rink. We stopped by and rode 2 to a vehicle a couple of rounds. Reno then was already showing throes of an adverse economic scene.Your noble efforts ought to offer respite to the deprived even if it only benefits one person! Great write Victoria!


  12. vivinfrance says:

    Your big heart shines through this, as well as the skill of your writing in putting us right there.


  13. To me a very honestly presented poem of absorbtion (sorry if wrong word) of the condition of society in this vacinity. A very lovely and brave write that touched me deeply.


  14. Laurie Kolp says:

    Manicured lawns.
    Marble facades.

    … I especially like that, Victoria.


  15. siggiofmaine says:

    Heart rendering…lots to think about…thanks…the haves and have nots…they are here too…
    lots to think about, as I said.
    Siggi in Downeast Maine


  16. ayala says:

    Sad and honest…..nice write, Victoria. So many in need these days…


  17. markwindham says:

    it takes a different kind of bravery to take that step to stop. Very hard to do. Well done.


  18. This is so sad…but the hardships are everywhere, even here in our city ~

    Hope all is well ~


  19. ManicDdaily says:

    Victoria I am on an iPhone and don’t think my previous comment took. This is a wonderful comparison. Or terrible! And your French is terrific. K.


  20. ManicDdaily says:

    Oh dear. Very good comparison. Or terrible! Wonderful french! I am very impressed. K.


  21. zongrik says:

    clients on cemetery road, that’s a great way to look at it!!! you’re right, they are well taken care of, and the rest of us have to put up with all kinds of things…

    radiation rampage


  22. Times are so hard now, compared to maybe even 10 years ago. It’s not going to get any better any time soon either. Powerful imagery Victoria.


  23. brian miller says:

    there are signs everywhere we look of those in need and yeah we need more information to really make a difference, but there is always an excuse why we dont stop or promises made to make ourselves feel better…i am just as guilty for the ones i have missed…


  24. claudia says:

    and of course i don’t like the insecurity but that you express it so honestly…


  25. claudia says:

    i like the honesty here…the insecurity..but…if your heart tells you to stop there, you really should..and bring some warmth… glad that you made it to OLN..smiles


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