We Fear the Poor

We fear the poor

they are weaker than us

their eyes are dull, and they

do not return us

to our reflection


We hate the poor

they are thieves

who have abandoned our principals

they take our cars

they rob our wallets

they steal our bikes


We fear the poor

they caress us with their

dry, veiny hands when

we don’t want to be touched

when we are trying to meditate

in the quiet hours of morning

as we drive to work


they crawl along Hastings Street

in coats that are falling apart,

and are much too big for their emaciated

bodies


they sprawl on the sidewalks with their limbs thrashing

skinny legs covered in scabs

which connect to each other

by thin, watery veins that

have been punctured

over

and

over

and

over


this is what bothers us most

they cross the street without looking

even when we roll down the windows

of our cars and holler at them

and this is what angers us most

get off the road we yell

and they yell back

screaming at us

yeah yeah

go fuck Yourself

motherfucking cocksucker sonofabitch

or

they trip and

we laugh

you stupid fucking junkie


We are enraged by the poor

before they swallow their addiction

it swallows them whole

their sons sell crack and

their daughters sell themselves


they sleep wrapped in dirty bedding

out in the open

on busy street corners

behind shopping-cart barricades


they creep one by one

toward us

a dead, urban army

with eyes which fail to reflect

and return us to our reflection

and all that is good

instead yawning open

so we can peer into pain

and so it seems

we are

coming apart

at

the seams


© Christy Frisken



























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