Poem: Life in the City

wbLife in the City

By Dave Hood

I stroll along the sidewalk, newspaper in hand,
headline reads “Another Murder in the City”,
iPod singing favorite songs, in the smog,
humidity, heat on a summer’s day,
along the horizontal, vertical streets,

passed a car dealership selling flashy sports
utility vehicles, sleek sedans,
passed a rusted out, station wagon  with a flat tire,
old bike chained to rusted metal pole,

passed the low rise, high rise, concrete buildings,
skyscrapers, office towers for the suits and ties,
the condos that touch the sky,
gentrified neighborhoods for the upwardly mobile,
rich, well-to-do,

passed a section of rooming houses,
ghettoized public housing, city slum,
nameless, abandoned places, of the downtrodden,
stinking sewers, strewn refuse, overflowing garbage cans

passed the dirty homeless guy, hands out,
begging like he’s from the third world,
the harmless, mentally ill woman
whose been “let out”, against better judgment,

passed the church, “for the born again”, huge maple tree,
warn out park bench, where a wino’s sprawled out,
empty liquor bottle tossed nearby,

passed the strip joint, with a neon sign that says
“Get your money’s worth”, passed the hookers,
dressed for a good time, in the downtown core
called “The Track”,

passed more cars crawling up, down the street, bumper to bumper,
driven by guys called “John”, looking for a score,
the HMV music store selling pop, rock, hip hop,
the one that I always confuse with the word “HIV”

Passed the city’s biggest book store where there’s too many books,
Never read, Stacks of  magazine on racks with
all sort of interesting reads like Cosmopolitan
for the urban chick, Time for those who want the “American Way”,
Vogue for the well dressed, fashionable types

Passed retail shops hawking all sorts of gadgets, smartphones,
video games, Big screen digital televisions, the size
of your living room,

Past the travel agency offering “a memorable vacation
to some far away destination where there’s palm trees, sandy beach,
sunshine, a five star hotel, protected by gun slinging guards,
a five meter fence, locked gate by the deep blue sea.”

into the cool, dark tunnel, onto the platform,
I stroll then wait, with other nameless strangers, weirdoes, riff raff,
people from other worlds.

The subway stops, lets out another crowd who run like it’s a race,
moving in all directions, as if there’s something pressing to do,

As the subway door closes, I sit down, smile,
Tell myself how lucky I am to be living
in the safety of suburbia.


About Dave Hood

Lover of poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction. Professional photographer and writer. Without the arts, life would be rather mundane, like a walk down the same old path on a dull day.
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