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

overgrown lots
burned-out buildings
fewer and fewer
kept-up homes

sacrificed for,
cared for,


factories close
lawns go uncut
paint no longer sticks
windows not replaced
doors not rehung,
rooflines sag
siding crumbles
and wood rots

the pull of the moon, the sun
and the Earth’s rotation?
or the inundation
of a rising sea?

do we 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”

a false doctrine
justifying deprivation
and 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:
razing bulldozers,
aspirational banners,
a smattering
of construction,
and blame

fail to save these drowning children
leaving only the strongest
swimmers to an uncertain fate

© 2009-2014 Brian Brown-Cashdollar

One thought on “Buffalo

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