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In cloistered Shadows...Lie struggle.

Updated on October 20, 2009

In Cloistered Shadows They Struggle.



There are doors
in back street alleys
and in derelict structures,
that sorrow passes through daily,
where tragedy is ever prevailing.

Hunger squats on a
second floor walkup,
tiny soul silently wailing
on a filthy blood-stained mattress,
as a smidgen of malnourished life,
sucks a dribble of breast flow
from her crack addicted mother,
whom she may never grow to know.

Drunks lie in the basement
of the old Five and dime store,
closed twenty years now,
snoring through an alcoholic haze,
in various poses of stupor,
waiting for dawn to break.

Then staggering out in a daze,
so they can beg a dime from
enough folks that pass them daily,
to buy a fifth and later drift
on liquid dreams of better lives,
grateful when oblivion finally arrives.

Joe beats his wife
on the third level
of the butcher shop,
giving a hard fisted thanks
in a quick short chop,
for her burning his precious toast.

He never could control his angst.
she wipes the blood off,
drops two more wheat down,
and prays the toaster
doesn't stick again,
while softly cursing
her choice of men.

Mary breaks her last
heart pill into quarters,
stretching what should have been
a one a day into four,
sips some tea from
a bag used six times before,
and stares at the three triangles,
between her and the floor,
Meanwhile fluids
fill her ankles
as the failure of
the bush health plan
slowly kills her.
in her world where
only the bill's sure.

Susie goes dumpster diving
behind the "All You Can Eat"..
Chinese joint,
she's an Iraqi war veteran,
so horribly burned, and scarred
from an I.E.D. that left flesh charred,
no one will dare hire her,
and who'd have the nerve to fire her.

So she spends her nights
sucking crab juice
from mulched leftovers,
and eating soggy eggrolls
weary of the public's disregard,
she lives life hard,
in a large cardboard box,
she calls her home,
once a hero,
now just a bum
all alone.

There are doors in back alleyways,
and in derelict structures,
that lead straight to
the ruins of mankind,
because most men towards
kindness are disinclined
so the poor and rejected remain
tucked out of sight,
way out of mind,
as out front, strolling sidewalks
the better off, are better off
staying clear of all
of those left without any luck
who gaze with envy through
dusty paned windows
to the crowds passing
and at the well-to-do massings
in the brightly lit streets below,
going to places they'll never know.


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