Monday, January 01, 2007

End of Year Tally

“As of last night, 274 people had died by homicide in Baltimore…”
- The Baltimore Sun, January 1, 2007

We hover in the upper 200’s
with the yearly index published of the dead
more men than women
more black than white
42 victims per 100,000

We watch the news--the crusty blood,
the yellow tape, the handguns
we can hardly crane our necks
to the other side of the world
where the bodies pile up
we can hardly change the compass
of our thoughts
when the cousins and uncles
are shooting and shot out
when the children are tight-fisting the faded obituaries

We work to make a difference
they shout from the trenches
What we’re doing, isn’t working
and we don’t know what to do

We want to throw up our hands,
run far away, bury our heads
in nostalgia

There is only tomorrow
steel and permanent

We hardly dare
to hope



Anonymous Anonymous said...

A sobering thought to bring the new year in on - and we mustn't forget. Thank you. Happy New Year.

9:52 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

there is tomorrow.
and hope is what gets us there.

but i know that you know that.

we are going to have a good year this time.
i can feel it.

11:42 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I read that article too. I am hoping for the end times soon. We sure know jazz won't redeem our societal failures.

1:31 AM  
Anonymous my backyard said...

Your poem makes the dry numbers mean more.

6:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Trenchant and well-done. Thanks.

6:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

how did i miss this one?

it brings it to life, sister.

6:54 PM  

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