A fall into the Streets

Forty stories high
A pillar of smoky gray glass
Towering far above,
A set of blue gray eyes peer
at rubbled streets of New York Live.
Are they real?
these stone faced ones
who come and go, seemingly untouched
by the ragged denizens,
worn by impoverish resolution,
forced to beg, grateful for any kindness
turned their way?

The custodians of the glass giants
are numb, indifferent . . .
Indeed, they have no call
to serve as guardians,
not responsible at all
for what the drop outs eat
or where they sleep.
Why shouldn't there be
annoyance, anger at the presence,
the arrogance of those who willing
gave up the right to play the corporate game,
too soon beat, to them belongs the blame
for acceptance of defeat.
Could it be that the cloudy loft dweller
fears his comrade's ill fate
could soon be his own?
Has fear made his into
a hollowed shell afraid to feel?
Perhaps only time will tell.
Whether he will dare to peal
away the mask he wears.
which fools only him
into believing his world is real
separate, apart
for all that lives and breathes
totally unresponsible for the rest.

Such a narrow ledge he walks
with others like himself
thinking themselves immune
from banishment, no danger of being ousted
from the pillared nest,
refusing to see how close they are
to tumbling from the edge.
Safety, at best, only an illusion
a place for weary minds to rest.
Life's two sided coin could flip
to reveal luxury's alternative,
homeless anonymity, has come
to end life's favorite
solitary dream . . . "forever after"ness.
How different are they really
from their bedless brothers
to whom they throw dimes,
like a butcher throwing
scraps to stray pups.
Dehumanized and broken
their brothers little more than
degenerating trash, they think,
who rather down a flash
of booze than nurse a bowl of soup,

Aimlessly wandering mindlessly
from bar to cardboard box.
Alas, it's hard to tell
who's number's up
Dread disease and products obsolete
bring new faces to the street,
Fate's call is not to please.
Rags have turned to barely
soiled business wear,
straggly, unkept hair
now shorter, almost trim.
Surprisingly humorous is the fall
of the vultures from the air,
Our culture's finest oxymoron.
Risen from the streets, then
From their lofty perch to the feet
of those they once considered
too lowly born to shed a care
Their own embarrassment
now too much to bare
with no one near
enough to hear,. . . to share.

By Shirl A. Steward,
Written and Copyright 9/22/94.





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