My City


Walking the gritty gray streets
of my urban homeland,
dodging ruffians
both real and imagined,
the detritus of
so many busy lives,
going whither the wind blows
collecting like garbage in corners,
I stay to myself.

Walking from shops
to stores
avoiding the glance
that could cause conflict,
escaping away to my lunch
I breathe a sigh of relief
exhaling both fright
and blight.

The remains of an industrious city
rot in the sun.
Buildings smile
with broken teeth
similar to those
who lurk in their shadows,
waiting for a victim
to come close.

Pride was the first to fall
when lives were tossed aside
in favor of
the tawdry.
Thrills are cheap.
Safety costs more
than you can afford.
If you do not take
you will be taken.

© Christopher Reilley 2008

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