Small World

Remembrance of foregone presentations:
forlorn, back to this cracked sidewalk, alone.
Recognizance made under sensations,
tingly, skin crawling. Unplugged telephone.

Who had I to call at that stagnant age?
No matter. No service; overdue rent.
Fellow quartered boarders could spare no cent.
Age pared of consent, how would we share change?

Back in those times when the skies spat acid
and the faucets cried rancid solutions,
some prayed that our small world would turn placid –
placebo pills drunk with destitution.

Our overseers insisted this:
“The bums of the earth are, in truth, God’s chums.
Children are an added equal. The slums
will be scoured at Judgment: Fields of bliss.”

Six years, ferment, in the splits of pavement,
green weed revolution struggles fiercely
to make good on God’s war against enslavement.
“Wars are fought to switch tyrants” – sticks pierce me.

Dignity stripped, physically and in mind.
Obtuse abuse. Who knew violets red-bleed?
Could tell nonfiction before I could read;
“molest” ushered a dictionary-find.

Who cares for the orphans locked in a war
raging in a shelter funded by aid,
coins funneled from well-wishers through State doors
who block our sun, lock our growth, get gold-paid?

Inside camp: black and grey televisions
with less than five channels; patches on eyes;
one fan; rusty toys. Rustic enterprise –
thatched roofs; stitched walls; hitched bulls tell derisions.

Only occupations changed our stations.
Left the tent once a week to meet the streets.
Yield signs read child labor violations –
but our masters knew chore detours, discreet.

Two meals a day came our way dependent
upon our talent to perform, warming
the souls of the cold commuters swarming,
noses up – the scents of the indignant.

Some played flutes, triangles or bucket drums;
others whistled, snapped fingers, tapped a shoe.
What drew claps, clangs of change from rubes, dumb,
were the vocals I belted out in blue.

Sincere, true, as we were always hungry.
To eat, we each had to “buy our own seat.”
Sharing, children ate the socialist meat:
“Yearn, move – you’ll quit your status as ‘young, free’.”

Providence came – guises: goose and gander,
two Born-Agains seeking restitution
for overpaid sin fees. Seers squander.
“Buy for kids? Not in the constitution.”

Adopted at six, excused from the trench.
Pass to the present, upon the cracked cement
stage where we harangued for our government,
diverting money from men on the bench.