Ishmael Islam, The Way Things Are on Franklin

After Jane Kenyon

Even the chicken joints gained a health conscience.
This side of the avenue, once a mote of awareness
from the watchdog that intersected at Madison.
Its bark behind barbed wire fence scared most.
Scarier to know it’s no longer there.
Oppositions of fresh pavement and decay
make for a twitching state of mind
Both sides of the coin deprive belonging.
‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ This morning,
on the alpha of Sunday, I pass two boys breaking
curfews they’re too young to have. Throwing rocks
at a resident’s front lawn of sleeping roosters.
That house always wore spook and abandonment.
These breeding birds so new to hungry eyes,
the boys are thieving coyotes
hurling mischief afer midnight.
Out of anger, and ignorance, I do not stop them.
In feeling new occupants of such an old house
lack some appreciation of how things once were.