Poverty grinds away the hours and crushes the last wasted cigarette butt under foot. In the cold the winds creep beneath the thin jackets of summer and send the desperate out in search of the abandoned. The stink of rolled up carpets will do for cover over night, but it’s easier just to sleep during the day. When light fades the howling packs rove and the sun’s crisp light is a memory of a lost yesterday. Summer is a blast of hot air. The cooling center closes at the hottest hour and water fountains run behind locked doors. Shelters crawl with bugs and thugs with television’s set to the wrong channel with digital blur and volumes all wrong to the deaf or blind.
The blind in poverty’s sea see, the impaired pair off and the wrongfully accused disease is shared. Girls get freaky by choice with a strange man for a buzz copped off a small shop dime with cracked glass and bars for windows. Its hard to see out beyond the small fortune of surviving the moment, if one can think in that at all. Others share what little has been left behind when the motored have roared with spinning wheels off somewhere distant and unheard. This man used to be another name but can still revert when pushed the “old man.” A fresh girl longs to do good but has only known the hardship of stress since she didn’t know when. Poverty to the rich is just a casino game with dice rolled out in spades.
The rich too can fly off to real or imagined glades where there is food and drink beyond stamps limits and they can laugh in plenteous full. The glory of the unloved nature of the spared past times in cush seats or luxurious goods is spent.
The crushed butt again appears into sight. It is a sad glimpse of what was. What no longer is. What can’t be again nor restored nor replenished. Poverty is a cruel joke played out not by a distant God but by distant men with trophies for wives or they are also played by the powerful women who don’t give a damn except for the art. The so called poor see or not what is before them or not. Given a sparse chance for knowledge the crippling chains are recognized for instance.
The brilliance of wasted minds comes up to the surface like the deep diving whale to spout and breathe. Like the whales poor humans are hunted for worth. Like the prison doors waiting with un-welcome signs for the next work force to keep quiet and stay alive. The courts where justice is truly blind send the youth of the world into unfathomable hardships that they didn’t foresee. The intelligent among the off-cast seek solace in sheer survival and are pleased to find a morsel of hope in cells. While some dwell in mansions others dwell in gutters. All is fair and love and war to those in love with money and gore.
The vicious creatures of wild imagination dwell behind walled streets and gated communities. The unconquered sprites of inner cities dance in perplexity and abandon. The twain shall not meet as the police state of things has separated the comfortable away from the prying eyes of starving cats who live behind in alleys where night covers with fear and smears of can lids are gently licked. Every last morsel shall be ingested. The rich eat the spirit of the poor and not of God and those called poor made strong through sheer survival will eat the bodies of the well offed. This is not a fiction. This is a pure friction and nothing but a fraction controls the mass distraction.
But the humbled can’t even get a ticket to the game. And life just rolls like someone else’s wheels all the same.
Patrick Sumner, M.A.
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