b kwik

In 40 years of writing this may be one fo the few poems I’ve actually finished. With a new living situation and a writing group, I look forward to finishing more.

b kwik

running through b kwik
sweaty hair
football gear
spikes clicking across
Imperial tile

tore-up turf
trailing behind
grabbing milk
grabbing bread

priced for convenience
priced
for the working class

sometimes
at checkout
a “secret” treat

dad waits in the car
window down
WKBW on the radio
in the strip plaza
sited to block competition
since the Super Duper
exploded under suspicious
circumstances

bricks blown for blocks
on Mother’s Day
as the family business
succumbed to market forces

we head for home
with what we need
oblivious to the desperation
that drove a son to arson

when he finally had to admit
there was no longer space
for a six aisle grocery

© 2018-19 Brian Brown-Cashdollar

b kwik DRAFT

Finished poem poster here

running through b kwik
sweaty hair
football gear
spikes clicking across
Imperial tile

tore up turf
in a trail behind me
grabbing milk
grabbing bread

dad waits in the car
window down

WKBW on the radio

the strip plaza
sited to block competition
ever since the Super Duper
exploded under suspicious
circumstances

priced for convenience
priced for the working class

and sometimes
at checkout
a treat
just for me

© 2018 Brian Brown-Cashdollar

Sugar Straw

On Saturdays
the mall is still mobbed
crawling with security
and teens, being teens
white, black, and brown
strategically stationed
throughout the concourses

near an exit
4 Lackawanna girls
squeeze together
waiting for their ride
black and floral satin hijabs
lean in excitedly, for the latest

then the youngest
throws back her head
trying to get every last grain
from a sugar straw

© 2018 Brian Brown-Cashdollar

The Inner Shore

a revision of a piece posted in April 2014, orginally titled: Buffalo

like a tide
moving in,
blight eases over
the east of
Buffalo

overgrown lots
burned-out buildings
fewer and fewer
tidy homes

sacrificed for,
cared for,
abandoned

leaving
     houses
     streets
     neighborhoods
submerged
destroyed

factories close
lawns go uncut
paint peels
windows break
rooflines sag
and wood rots

so, is it
the ebb and flow
     or tidal currents?
or the inundation
     of a changed climate?

do we even have any say?

a mile from shore
you can hear
this encroaching sea
the arhythmic crashing
of gunfire and sirens

neighbors congregate
nervously outside,
pray for slack water
wonder if they’re next
or how long they’ve got

safely inland
some debate or opine:

“it’s natural law
rising tides
lifts all boats”

“the natural consequences
of deprivation
and corporate theft”

“it’s culture,
it’s race,
it’s their own damn fault”

whatever their position,
whatever their faith
people are less safe
and a community’s wealth – lost

the only solutions:
structural adjustment,
razing bulldozers,
tax policy,
a smattering
of construction,
and blame

© 2009-2017 Brian Brown-Cashdollar