The woman with a raccoon's face.
A birthmark stretches across her eyes.
It fits like a mask. When she looks up,
she does not look at you. Her legs
are swollen, wrapped in rags. Her nose
leans close to the ground as if tracking a scent.

All night she burrows beneath the city
among the outlawed. Crouched in darkness,
beside the iron tracks, the rust
and drip of drainage pipes. What news,
what vision sends her up the long,
slow stairs? The sidewalk shines. The sky

is blue. A trash can brims with goodness.
She stops. She talks to her wire cart.

---Joan I. Siegel
(Witness Vol. XX)