Thursday, February 11, 2016

The Leaden Dream

(Flint, Michigan  2016))

At the bottom

of the  river, sediment has settled

molding itself into a circle of  clay children.

The water often whirls. A gust of  flakes

breaking off from natural and artificial

matter. Trees and pipes. The brains of  kids

who may never carry the flow

of clear thought, its process gushing

rapid and reactive like the  falls

pouring into Lake Huron after Winter's thaw.

Left here, where the sun still filters

through  filthy water, waits the city's shame,

the sunken potential.  A chorus of stone singers

who stand with  arms entwined, their mouths open

murmuring light.

P.S. This tragic incident in Flint has haunted me for days; and awhile back, I saw underwater art by  West Indies artist, Jason deCaries Tayor, that moved me very deeply. It is , in its own right and intent, a positive sculptural piece that celebrates the blessing of water . However, it became a personal image for me of  what my poem speaks about, the lost potential of children who may have had their brains impaired, their body's functioning slowed by lead poisoning. It became the source of a dream; and though surrealistic, it compelled me to write this, giving voice to what has occurred and what demands more light, more action to salvage whatever can be salvaged

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