Yardstick

Yardstick

 

It is measured

In the loss of productivity

That lessens the green

In an already infertile economy

 

It is the extra

Beds in the shelters

The additional truck of groceries

For the food pantry

 

It is the miniskirts

And tanktops

at 3 am

 

It is the blow,

shake

and the roll of the dice

and it’s combinations of the 5&9,

4&3

and the 6&5

in the alley, or in the parks at night.

 

It’s the crease,

cut

and shuffle of the deck

and it’s combinations of the 3 Kings,

2 Queens & 2 Aces;

and the 4 Sevens

on the porches or in the basement

that makes them upset.

 

It is the street corner hustlers with dead white leaders hugging their ankles,

Cellphones on the right and left sides of their hip,

Razor blades underneath their tongues

And tiny zip-lock bags inside their jackets-

Where they created hidden pockets to hold

Their innocence.

 

It is the mothers who are wed to the shifts of the sun & the moon,

The babies and the diapers,

Part-time status as students,

And selling baked goods, Avon or Mary Kay products

But only reporting one job on their taxes.

 

This is Urban Survival…

No, this is Urban Decay

That politicians and economists see

 

They are jealous of the deregulation

Year after year they want more

Of their markets to be free

While we long to be free

 

We long to be free

of the graveyard shift

that engulfs our nights,

the early mornings

where our kids need to be waken,

made breakfast and dropped off;

then tending to the laundry,

the dishes and cooking dinner

that grants us a sleepless life.

We long to be free

 

Of the drive-by bullets

that leaves innocent children

who were potential student-athletes

paraplegic lacking confidence

to face their friends again.

We long to be free

 

Of the wages that are unsecured

that leaves us insecure

because we are the working poor

achieving below a living wage

We long to be free

Of the problems suburbanites don’t have

English teachers instructing high school math

Police who don’t arrive for an hour and a half

Gas stations, banks, and social security offices

creating division through bullet proof glass

Oh, do we long to be free!

 

Each roll is not beneficial

Each cut of the cards could be sacrificial

It’s either double up your earnings

or your debt.

To heal wounds from this cycle

We find ourselves during vacation

Another part time job.

 

Urban Decay is measured

In the loss of productivity

That lessens the green

In an already infertile economy

 

Urban Survival is unmeasured.

 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s