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Parsons Avenue

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The beginning of the bottoms
Where the dirty poor live
Where they steal and gangs are power
Where drugs are food and liquor is water
I am disguised as one of them. A teenage girl walking home from a rundown school
As I walk I look around, fearing the danger but wanting to know
I catch sight of an old man, sitting by a dumpster
A bottle is clutched tightly in his hand and his eyes look down
He’s spent his whole life with a bottle in his hands, drunk and alone
A sadness I’ll never understand lays heavily on him, chaining him to the blacktop
I watch as a few young men pass him. He flinches and looks anywhere but at them
He’s been beaten I’m sure, because he is weaker than them and cannot fight back
I hug myself, and walk on
Pittbulls snap at me, held back by chain-link fences
They have long bloody scars from fighting one another, to please their owners
I read somewhere they’ll do anything for their humans
Even die
I walk on
Little children play in their filthy yards. A baby with chubby legs stumbles out by the road
I pick him up and set him in the boundaries of his fence
His fate is going to be here. He will grow up here and live here and be here and stay here
I walk on
I’ve seen enough of this place, a few streets down the road from my own home
Where there are clean people and loving families and people with futures
I leave this place and feel completely blessed
Because I can I will
Walk on.



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This article has 2 comments. Post your own!

L7SquariaN This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Nov. 24, 2012 at 1:46 pm:
Very powerful. I can't tell if you made this up, or if you actually experience it; it's that convincing.

My favorite segment was that on the old man. Your word choice undoubtedly accomplished its goal of envoking a sense of distress and helpness.

Also, when I read "walk on", up until the last one, I assumed it to be involuntary and resentful, considering the misfortune and brutality accompanied with doing so, but upon finishing the poem, I realized tha... (more »)
 
Malanie replied...
Nov. 26, 2012 at 8:03 am :
Wow, thank you so much! It means a lot. :)
 
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