Poem: Downtown Sketch


One-legged girl
In downtown coffee shop
Looking young and cute
And perfectly damaged
Shifty people shuffle
Out on old patio
Smoking cigarettes
Staining pavement and fingers
While this girl deftly uses crutches
To get a better seat

While building that housed newspaper
Torn down by some metal monster
Causing reaction
And stirring memory and debate
While onlookers snap photos
To post on social media
Adding fuel to a fire
The tree that has grown on the roof
Sways in the wind
And lives another day and night
As the demolition pauses
Until tomorrow

SUV soccer moms
Barely noticing pedestrians
With homemade tattoos
Regrettable and blatant
Turning the corner
With bright white vehicles
Shiny big rims
Reflecting gray sunlight
While the painting goes unnoticed
Behind the building
Surrounded by fence on a corner

The world is coming
Banners fly high
Announcing the event
It flaps in the wind
But only in English
Above the flat water pool
That I lay in two nights ago
Felt like I was drowning
Beneath the gleaming glass building
Crushing down on my chest
The new dream is coming
The old hope has faded

The rusted old sign
On the Eastside
Closed at the moment
Where I once ate onion rings
Many years ago
Still standing
Still waiting
To fill up the lanes again

The stone plaque stares up
From the base of the tree
Remembering Peter
But not nearly enough

The bridge on Division Street
Keeping us divided
It bends to the north
Going the wrong way

© 2013 James Takeo

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