In the Neighborhoods

Driving through this ghost town, no lights on in the windows. No
Delivery trucks on the streets. A pair of homeless walk their bikes
With packs and gear slung over shoulder, on handlebars, packs slouching over seats.

I woke up this morning thinking about how I’ve always considered myself
On the outside looking in. Which makes me a stranger in my own home.
My wife my kids at home sick, while I’m driving into work under twilight sky
Under fertile crescent moon through downtown Georgetown,

We worry, during these times, that we’re making the right decisions
Now maybe more than ever. Though we don’t think it’s the invader,
We act like it is, because who knows? 

Later, up north in the Greenlake neighborhood,
Parents and children walk by in handfuls.
Every couple with a smile, and every child intense with play.

Coffee shops are open and they let customers in one or two at a time.
Restaurants are empty, the chef turned delivery driver
Loads up his car. A childless couple walks by
Probably programmers, or social media account managers,

Or both, with coffee cups in hand, talking about
The luxuries of not having children, while acting like their dog is a child.
We talk a lot about our perspective, about what history has taught us,
We think we know how the impact of these moments change the course of history.

So we’re careful; walking on eggshells; walking so as not to disturb the sleeping baby.
Careful not to indulge too much, not to enjoy the time at home too greatly
Concerned and anxious, we’re pulsing underneath, concerned and scared
Because the anchor of our economy is tied so closely with our joy.

I Have Seen

It’s here in these early morning nighttime silences under shadows of abandoned office buildings— solitary light in the window, computer screens waiting to be wakened; in the silent shudders of trees and passing cyclists; here in the promise of the day that we must come to terms with the howling cries of death and hunger.

And I have seen a future of abandoned corporate office parks. I have seen parking lots deserted save for staggered cars parked with windows busted and garbage bag taped over. It is there that I have seen a future wherein the word hope has been replaced by neighbor. Longing, by community.

Where the sun-rise from the west behind thread-bare quilted blanket lies the bosom of a new day.

Washed Out

I saw her again, this time standing on the sidewalk, no bags, or cart or anything to own. I recognized her face, though she is only a stranger. Everything else had been washed out, empty of any other kind of existence. I wanted to run up to her, grab her by the hand and to tell her the good news; your face, it’s still recognizable! But she would’ve thought me crazy. So I kept walking, with all four dollars in my wallet.

Blessed

We are the culture to one-up each other.

We are blessed, let us rest.


¥


This poem came about from the observation (after a week of listening to the news) that we seem to be only willing to point a finger outward, while completely unwilling to look inward. Increasingly we see, hear, and feel the effects of an ever expanding economy. This agenda doesn’t care for the human spirit. I see these effects in my thoughts of comparing and judging, and putting down in a desperate effort to lift myself up. Beauty is found everywhere with an open mind.