Corner of Hope


We used to hit the corners

tight and on the inside.

Stand out in the rain

and wait for the sunlight

to filter down to us

from between the buildings.

Deep in the alleyways,

we knew places

where the sun never touched.

Hidden, gutter slums

that never saw a green thing.

We used to breathe

diesel clouds

and listen to the revving

of the big engines.

Air brakes squeak,

hiss and release,

as they trundle by us.

Nothing sparkles,

and nothing shines,

at least

not anything that lives here.


something from uptown

would roll past,

and we would all stop and stare.

A rare unicorn

on our corner.

Quarter water summer.

Slow burn pavement games

that always cost money

no one ever had.

Paper bag princes,

brown liquor robber barons,

and slow junkies

always on the nod.

Everyone either high,

broke, or invisible.

We preferred the latter,

never stepping into

the stray lines of sunlight

that would sweep down Hope Street

and blaze off the windows

like some kind of crazy searchlight.

At night,

we would make our way

to the roof of Paul’s building.

Our quiet corner of hope

was a lit city skyline,

where Gideon would tell us stories

of the way it was

back in the ‘80s.

Star light.

City light.

It all comes to us

before we find our beds

and sleep on hope

until morning.

We might struggle through the world,

but we will always have

a place on the corner of Hope

to call home.



DJR – 2023

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