Urban beggar, Urban tree cautht in the rain This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This work has won the Teen Ink contest in its category.


In dazed urbanlands, the peripatetic entrepreneurs and
nomads don't stop for
rain, for stray dogs, or
bloodshed, for tears that fill theirwinter boots, their extra -
extravagant leather penny loafers thatrun automatically on factory
whistles, and their schedules tuckedaway in matching leather
briefcases. Their eyes stay fixed and don'twander off to
weeping mannequins in plastic bags or the ones tuggingshopping
carts. Cartons of change - heavy, obstinate change, changethat pleads
for democracy, for habeas corpus, and theirsilver ridges call for migration
from elite pockets, noblewallet compartments - the change keeps on
clamoring in pockets andseldom clinks or tinks in
empty tin cups of the beggars andgrievers.

Reverberations from skirmishes on
Wall Street,concertos and waltzes from the Philadelphia
Orchestra, oohs and aahsfourteen-hundred fifty-four feet atop
the Sears Tower, foreigntongues from the Forbidden City deep
in the heart of Beijing
ringpandemic. Two lovers meet
on a balcony, Brutus utters a soliloquy,great
Caesar gives us his final piece of mind, and the
worldknows their every move, their every word. Et tu Brute, did youknow
that fair Juliet is the sun? Of course he did.

Distortedcalls deep in the
heart of the beggar ring in his heart only;outstretched arms remain
unanswered, are seen through his eyes only.No,
we don't stop to offer
socks to the bare feet wrapped tightlyin swollen earth, trunks that
spout as constellations do; we canhear
earth and beggar cry out in pain on occasion if we takeout
the thick earmuffs and cotton balls from our ears,
ears not deaf, merely unused. Look at their soiled green carpets, andtheir
jade sheets that haven't been nourished in months; the
brittle grass arms show its spiraled and thirsty figure, pokes thebrown
limbs with its
finger nails.
Rigid shoulders,rigid like frozen twine, frozen
on a July afternoon. Theremust be a wall between the two
worlds, a wall painted on one
sideand covered with rusted neglect on the other.

I had no change onme,
so I took a single leaf from its tangled bough and took it home.




This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.

This work has won the Teen Ink contest in its category. This piece won the September 2000 Teen Ink Poetry Contest.






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