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

overgrown lots
burned-out buildings
fewer and fewer
tidy homes

sacrificed for,
cared for,


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

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