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The dog lunged at me and choked on its chain

guarding a house on the street of broken dreams.

What does it take to be safe? A sun-porch window

barred shut with a wood-spooled bed frame. Fradon

lock store down the block, a giant curlicue key

advertising sleep all night, sweet dreams. A bumble-

bee in the clover fumbling to find its damp-dirt home.

No way to tell who owns my neighborhood homes

until the for-sale-by-bank signs grow overnight,

and of course there’s the bank at James and Lodi

with the blue light, CHASE, that stays on 24/7.

On my street some people harrow a vacant lot,

green turned under into small rows, they harvest

weathered rocks and pile those up in the corner.

In another city, some foreclosed people got so angry

the big finance company had to hide its sign, AIG.

The people were so angry. That makes me feel more

safe, the people come out of their houses to shout:

We demand. Not rabble and rabid, not shadow, not terror,

the neighbors stand and say:The world is ours, ours,.ours

-Minnie Bruce Pratt-

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