Here it is not like that: it’s a company of trees, and all are undoubtedly dead.
Today I and the unhooded bird
that sits on my head
are looking in different directions,
“Are they gone?” Danny gasps. He is still a heap on the platform, motionless except for the heaving of his chest.
“Nope,” I say. “We’re gonna have to wait.”
Praise to the father holding his sleeping daughter on the 52nd
To the daughter sleeping through the pothole thrum
Praise to the diabetic with shorn feet and sugarcane blood
To the shooting nerve through the left hip and lower spine
To those flying gods on their routes
Praise to the red-headed Rasta and his ganja-laced T-shirt
To the Vietnam vet at Cass Corridor holding his sign
To the sign which reads: “I’m not homeless, I’m just Black”
Praise to the barbers trying to calm the fatherless boys in their chairs
To the mothers trying not to overhear this soothing
I believe the climate in America has changed and we are moving towards a best and worst of times situation. Those who revere naked power, and who want a “strong” man over democracy, are feeling emboldened. So too are the mediocre, the bullies and the bigots. Those of us who believe in democracy must fight back daily and art is one weapon among many—though art is a million things besides a weapon.