Friday, March 28, 2014

Headline Poem 3/28/14 -- A Major Divide

Millionaire Row on Troost Street (Photo credit NPR)
I read this article today about a major divide in Kansas City, Missouri.

A Major Divide

Top of the morning to ya with a tip of your tall black hat, on millionaire row,
slums submerged just below 
the surface. 
A prominent shift divides already divided lines,
race and class and economics 
hit you in the face, a punching bag of fate. 

Ripped and shredded, cut deep, 
lives no mirror can place,
distorted beyond recognition, 
widening the break between 
the white and black, the have and have-nots,
the poor meet not-poor, 
hard to ask "how do you do?"
when you are not a part of them, nor are they a part of you
the language sounds the same, but it's spoken in different tongues. 

Money is thick, on Troost Street. 
Wads of cash, flash, green.
Troost Street lines separate more than cars and pedestrians. 
School children sit and observe the push and pull, 
parents fearful they might congregate,
together black hands and white hands, voices shrill, we need more lines!

Manipulate -- do not desegregate. 
I to you, and you to them. 
We are not friends.
We do not share the flight down
the major, divided street in which the hate cannot escape. 
Money creates what money creates.

East of Troost, down on 18th and Vine, you will find 
more of your kind.
Before you bridge here to there on etched-in lines, you must decide 
if it's worth it to dissolve time.