Sitting on a Manhattan Stoop
Wondering at a Million Strangers

by Alan Gann

Are those gang colors?
Does that heart beat beneath
a pointed white hood?
Why must they jabber like that? 

How to hold another’s eyes in mine
without fear, reveal the shared desires?
Struggling to walk streets
free from a history of pain
and twisted yearnings,
where arms are raised
like the hey! of Greek wedding dances
not storing energy up for downward blows,
no one wondering
what thoughts shade a stranger’s mind?

While night sticks prod the drunks and homeless
into a wakefulness of walking
I stroll through the stillness of reverie.

A woman and her clan
move through the forest
gathering fruit for this day’s meal.
Deer do not start
nor birds scatter as they pass.  
Their path shadows the river,
migrating as the planet tilts.
When gone
these woods will have no wounds to lick
no cause to mourn the days of people.

Evening visits as a welcomed neighbor.
Fire warms the center
and silence settles on cushions
of contentment.
We are open and no one can recall
the plowing of fields,
the building of walls.

Brakes squeal
and the nameless face in the silver-blue sedan
screams  Money   Money   Money

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