Urban Desolation

The vacant stare of broken windows
Empty sockets not seeing
Lifeless – no calls to passersby
No glow of lamps in the evening
Curtains no longer move in the breezes
 
Another crouching nearby
Disconsolate in weeds and glass
Wears a plywood blindfold
Nothing seen, nothing noticed
Weary of watching decline and decay
 
Where are the children?
Where is the laughter?
No mothers keep watch
From the front stoops – silence
Hellos and goodbyes long absent
 
A few occupied
Airless rooms where fear huddles
Barred and locked windows
Lean against the summer heat
Air conditioners, none or few – comfort
 
Youngsters work the corners
Cars quietly come and go
Some with the fun and excitement of a parade
Others, desperate, unwitting,
Ride in their funeral cortege
 
Time catches up
Years of rejection take their toll
Generations cycle
Two or three bring permanence
Permanence, but not hope
 
Those who could, left
Others, hostage to meager means, stayed
Role models of doctors, lawyers, teachers – gone
Many young fathers ran away or were taken away
Young mothers struggle to hold the pieces together
 
Society indifferent in its ignorance
Misery unseen, unfelt, unknown, unacknowledged
 “Welfare queens” become real to the uninformed
Misinformation yields certitude of solutions
Certitude of solutions, but no action
 
© 2012 Thomas W. Cummins
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