Duane Robert Pierson

Rookie (Newton, New Jersey)

All Souls Street


Old ones rub away at lottery tickets
seeking a big break with a last dollar.
Scavengers dip into garage cans where
redemption resides in cans and bottles.
Luxury SUVs pass by with Levinson sound
and glowing dashboard maps to elsewhere

A blizzard of cigarette butts covers street and gutter.
Storeowners stare out in stunned dismay recalling glowing realtor promises about great foot traffic.
Pigeons and gulls from far away roof tops
quarrel over a newly dropped morsel.
Blind police officers scurry through in patrol cars.
Suburban white boys drive by with radios blaring
hip-hop anthems to a ghetto culture

A failed society lied about Easy Street,
dumped its failure here into the mainstream,
the mixing bowl where all rub together,
expecting a perfect cake from the oven.
Stumbling from shelters, half way houses,
cardboard boxes and make shift hovels,
the tattered, battered and no longer matter
visit the American Dream scheme.

Panhandlers beg fifty cents
Drunks and druggies sleep something off
Scruffy mush for brains college students
beg a smoke
Crazies talk to themselves
The insane shout
Steady eyed suits walk quickly by

Submitted: Wednesday, December 15, 2004
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