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Monday, May 5, 2008

As North St. Louis Burns

A dozen homes in flames in JeffVanderLou and St. Louis Place. Some are owned by Blairmont. The conspiracy theory curtains open to reveal a bald truth. Our mayor (who else?) rushes to enshroud the naked figure in a shadowy blanket by doing and saying nothing.

Audre Lorde has a fitting poem, especially having read Curious Feet St. Louis's chillingly true declaration:

I promise you that Paul McKee does not sit up at night, hearing rounds of sirens and wondering, nervously, nervously, what buildings near his home must be burning. I promise you he doesn’t live like this.

Future Promise

This house will not stand forever.
The windows are sturdy
but shuttered
like individual solutions
that match one at a time.

The roof leaks.
On persistent rainy days
I look up to see
the gables weeping

The stairs are sound
beneath my children
but from time to time
a splinter leaves
imbedded in a childish foot.

I dream of stairways
into silence
well used and satisfied
with no more need
for changelessness

freed from constancy
this house
will not stand


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