The street's tween vandals
pulled the new shingles off our roof
that we just put up yesterday.
Youth has gone mad at a staggering
pace, in these unending final days.
They run their whip-poor-will tongues
across every spec of tar left,
their starry eyes itching for a switchblade.
All night, we slink deep under covers
at hearing their cackles and cat calls
out in the alley.
Oh saint Margo of the shirtwaist fire,
keep their pudgy hands from lighter fluid
and the molotov cocktail.
And the river’s gone pestilent.
Ammonia steam rises from its surface,
quietly gnawing at our pink pulpy lungs.
The maids of merry bring gifts
to the foamy banks,
drowning their sunday dresses,
their pennyroyal jams
and baptizing their ankles
with orange water, so tainted
it leaves bite marks which never fade.
Oh saints Joe and Mick of the wounded hound,
we are tired of the tune we must not relent.
Our remaining miracles are not uncounted.
Outside the city barricades
nothing can live long.
The deer are dying.
The nights are too cold without fire.
The ground festers.
Oh mayor of the panicked corridors
and empty bizarres, we thank you
for our heated homes.
Our heated homes,
and little else.
Finished for the Play it again Sunday Prompt at Real Toads. I loved Kenia's challenge the first time she presented it, and I was gleeful to have the opportunity to revisit. I had been toying with the above poem for a while as part of a larger manuscript, and the prompt was the final nudge into the "poem" bucket. As with everything else posted at Nice Cage, it is a work in progress. Any feedback is much appreciated.