Cityscape: Early Dawn - Poem by Doug Stewart
The city is wasted just before dawn, just after
The last shots have been poured and just before
The polished bankers arrive to orchestrate more
Theft. The city, you see, runs on golden greed.
Street sweepers, sprayers, rotate at curbs
Trying to scrub away last night’s guilt and pain,
Failing, but raising everything to gray streaked
Shades of grime. Flickers of light on the horizon.
Cups of decaying ice cream, chocolate, caramel, mingle
With boxes tall, squat, round, that once held food, drugs,
Or minor, forgotten treasures, stick to the sidewalks, alleys,
Fire escapes, wherever the wind and fate has flung them.
Morning, once again, the city waits. Cabs,
Trains, and buses poised to be arteries. Shaking
Off sleep, windows fill with artificial light.
Limbs shake as body parts begin to move.
Last night’s toll is slowly recycled. Beer cans,
Wine bottles and cast off whiskey pints to
The trash trucks rolling through nearly
Automatic routes. Drunks are cycled into
Police vans, the dead into black, morgue
Wagons. Breakfast tantalizes, blown from the
Exhaust vents of the four nearby restaurants.
In the alleys, rats, both 2 And 4 legged, scurry to
Daytime hidey holes just as Apollo’s chariot
Pulls the sun into starting position and floods color
Over the city canyons with red, gold, and shades,
Always shades, of color, crime, dirt, life.
But even here, in the midst of anger, violence, poverty,
Babies cry, kids hurry off to school, mothers and fathers
To work, and third shifters to sleep amid the raucous noise
Of day lit hours. While in the dirt of ancient alleys, flowers grow.
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