Death of a Window Washer

Death of a Window Washer
by X. J. Kennedy
He dropped the way you’d slam an obstinate sash,
His split belt like a shade unrolling, flapping.
Forgotten on his account, the mindless copying
Machine ran scores of memos no one wanted.
Heads stared from every floor, noon traffic halted
As though transformed to stone. Cops sealed the block
With sawhorse barricades, laid canvas cover.
Nuns crossed themselves, flies went on being alive,
A broker counted ten shares sold as five,
And by coincidence a digital clock
Stopped in front of a second it couldn’t leap over.
Struck wordless by his tumble from the sky
To their feet, two lovers held fast to each other
Uttering cries. But he had made no cry.
He’d made the city pause briefly to suffer
His taking ample room for once. In rather
A tedious while the rinsed street, left to dry,
Unlatched its gates that passerby might pass.
Why did he live and die? His legacy
Is mute: one final gleaming pane of glass.

Leave a Reply