Blues from the Curb

Douglas Silver

Born to the slums,
Baby fought to forge a memory
She didn't hate.
Momma loved hourly,
Daddy an enemy of the state.
Tears stained crib bars where
She lay in wait,
Patient to earn a voice and
Beg strength of grace to
Overtake fate.

Forced a woman;
She sucked knuckles of backhand and
Sported scars for lose before her time.
Intent exposed on tired knees,
A trove pilfered but not stripped of pride.

Elders warned of lip chime
Left to dangle in the street.
Alleyway emperors have
Little choice of the company they keep.
She watched slick pigeons
Spread wings near the throne,
At a distance witnessed stone gardens
Nourish men who forgot their places when alone.

Enlisted at birth,
She endured to escape.
Encaged, she enkindled.
But those with sight were dead while
Those with breath were blind.
Still, now, she can't face the divide and
Hear the gutter cry from being, cry from time.