Smudged Street

you fight to keep your eyes fastened

to a door that doesn’t open

into alley puddles filled

with broken glass and barefoot children

and narrow streets strung with dirty sneakers

dangling from telephone lines

sagging over nailed-shut windows

the frightened like to hide behind.

half a smile and

you’re cool as the mile

you’re sliding across

one soot black wink and

you’re dark as the ink

you’re hiding in


and too proud to ask for directions.

there’s a current running through you

like cold rain on a live wire.

your eyes are dirty gems without the fire.

you’re cheap and chipped l

like something slipped off a pawn shop shelf

then got glued together by a blind man.

another flat pocket pick pocket

sidewalking freak show

who doesn't recognize the songs

playing on the radio.

you line the soles of your shoes

with the same old news

papers that find you wherever you go.

your pilot light is lit

but it’s dangerously low.

blowing around with yesterday’s litter

washing down crumbs

with something hot and bitter

you're barely warm

in someone’s else’s clothes.

and you haven’t had a thing to eat in weeks

it drags along the hollows of your cheeks

sharp and unforgiving places

ransacked bare and empty spaces

growing deeper steeped in the cold

you spend your time catching

on someone else’s dime

the phantom itch you’re scratching

the borrowed walls you’re trying to climb

but the cracks are never wide enough to hide in

or deep enough to fall through

so you make a smooth highway of moving on

to another town you’ll never know

and try to un-fasten every place you’ve been

from any place you’ll ever go.

© 2010 susan beck

More by this Author

Comments 2 comments

Steele Fields profile image

Steele Fields 6 years ago from drexel hill,pa Author

I checked them all out, saddlerider and your instincts for poetry are dead on. They are all wonderful and I have become fans.

saddlerider1 profile image

saddlerider1 6 years ago

All I can say is WOW...this is fantastic. I loved every line, you held my attention, you hit the right nerve. Thank you for this wonderful flight into your world. Keep hubbing, you are a natural. Check out my friends Wayne Brown, Nellianna, Rawlus and McHamlet for excellent poetry as well. I rate this up.

    Sign in or sign up and post using a HubPages Network account.

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No HTML is allowed in comments, but URLs will be hyperlinked. Comments are not for promoting your articles or other sites.

    Click to Rate This Article