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Poems - Yesterday’s headline

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Yesterday’s headline

by sedubah

The location was only blocks from where I was,
so I took a stroll during my lunch break to see for myself.
I walked looking for inspiration, looking for words

It was an above normal temperature day in Atlanta,
a good day for a walk.
I had heard the news from the previous day
so I wanted to see for myself

Yester day’s headline was “Occupy Atlanta base test positive for tuberculosis. “


This part of Peachtree Street un-nerves me,
the faces look too familiar, black like me, male like me.
It seems like there is no good place to park so near,
so I never park around the corner to visit Gladys Knight's Chicken and Waffles.
It smells too bad around here to eat at a restaurant
There is too much hanging out at night,
so I avoid this section of Peachtree.

At the intersection opposite the Emory University Hospital ‘s midtown campus,
opposite sterile hallways-offices-cafeterias,
opposite, diagnoses and cures,
opposite on the other side is where They live.

It’s no wonder of the headlines,
Though the downtown winds stir some of the foliage
the air above these blocks seems hemmed in
by some approaching front
coming from every compass direction
The air clouds like some sort of bio dome,
heavy, almost permanent.
the sidewalks and streets were littered with leaves
and people meander

I thought to venture closer until I heard an unfamiliar face
calling loud from across the street
The brother was talking crazy as hell
so I thought to myself,
thought twice before going that way

Residents, on pretty days like today will step outside and away;
seeking reprieve, they step outside and breathe deeply.

Exhaust smells better,
impending rain showers smell better.
Everything smells better than being cooped up
in this Peachtree-Pine homeless shelter.
After the rain tomorrow, it will be close to 32 degrees for the low.

The whole of Pine street teems with the homeless
The smell of piss and shit and unsanitary living conditions
seems ever prevalent
Some would rather not make their bed in this building
but would rather sleep in the park
at the other end of the street near the Civic center.
The Atlanta police don’t bother them,
there aren’t too many alternatives;
homelessness or shelters like this one or jail.

Today’s headline is, “none of the Occupy folks are sick”
of this particular disease
Their ailments are powerlessness , hopelessness,
and feeling entrapped, with prospects for a bleak future
They use fancy tents and try their best not to trample the grass
at Woodruff Park just north of five points
and only use the Porta-John or nearby businesses with restrooms
but the mayor chased them out any way
so the sanitary workers could clean the park.

The press say it’s a city law that you can’t stay in parks past 11:00pm
and a cold wet ground is no place to spend the night
if you’re talking about a permanent condition

Yesterday’s headline was Occupy Atlanta base test positive for tuberculosis
Today’s headline is, “none of the Occupy folks are sick”
with no mention of the other residents





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Re: Yesterday’s headline (Score: 1 )
by K13739 on Saturday, November 19, 2011 (14:21:28)
This is so powerful and sad. I think the last 2 lines say it all. One question, is there really a "Gladys Knights Chicken and Waffles"? Very Happy

| Parent
    Re: Yesterday’s headline (Score: 1 )
    by sedubah on Monday, November 21, 2011 (10:22:52)
    yes there is.

    I've eaten there once. I don't care for a lot of bread when I eat out though.

    | Parent
      Re: Yesterday’s headline (Score: 1 )
      by K13739 on Sunday, November 27, 2011 (08:16:34)
      Thanks.

      | Parent
        Re: Yesterday’s headline (Score: 1 )
        by sedubah on Monday, November 28, 2011 (11:09:08)
        there's another location in the Stonecrest mall in Lithonia
        i night have to go out there and try it.

        | Parent


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