I. City streets, Blaze now under an unforgiving summer sun, To freeze, come February, solid against shuffling feet; Pulsing concrete arteries, Flowing asphalt veins carry life along to Nowhere certain, For wavering, too-often futile purpose.
II. People everywhere, Some rushing, Barreling along toward a day’s mission, Others stalling, lingering at corners, Seeking small refuge, a pause to know, to obtain; Food, a concern to all—some for too much, Many others for much too little.
III. Children in tow or nearly unattended, Wide-eyed with wonder, Pushed hard against pain, hope, hunger, fullness, Whatever arrives, the next thing; Holding onto adults, not knowing where the path ends, Not caring—for this is not what children Are born to do.
IV. Work needing doing, Focused folk with clear assignments, And, to those who seek anything to fill a day, To bring a check for getting by, there is hope; To form a career, to feed a kid, To have a home, To avoid city streets for at least a night, again.
V. Streets fill up and overflow with sounds, Music—too loud a celebration; Old cars with smoke and squealing tires; Children laughing, crying, playing; Breaking glass, roaring buses, gliding trains, Popping shots--cruel, automatic, rapid fire--destination unclear, Add fear to those who hear, listening for such.
VI. Church bells ring, calling some faraway faithful to pray, While just outside on an old, low, failing wall, Those without church or home or fitting clothes or recent bath, Sit and watch parishioners march toward holiness; Ignored by all but a rare few, Not simply too busy, but so unattached To this sort of thing or matter that No space remains for caring.
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Rising from Ashes
Larry James' Urban Daily
A repository of ideas, resources, commentary and opinions concerning the issues facing low-income residents of the inner cities of the United States and how mainstream America largely forgets or, worse, ignores the day-to-day realities of urban life for the so-called "poor." Written and edited by the President & CEO of CitySquare. Please visit CitySquare.
Today and throughout 2013, we need your support to continue our life-changing work in inner-city Dallas. Every day hundreds of our wonderful neighbors arrive at our doors seeking our assistance, offering their help and prepared to pursue a better life. Frankly, the folks we "serve" make essential contributions to the scope, nature and soul of the work we attempt. At CitySquare we honor and recognize the amazing value and richness of our low-income neighbors. During 2012, almost 55,000 different people received the benefit of our wide-ranging services designed to assist in the process of building better lives. We need your help TODAY as we continue to respond to the needs of our community. Even more, we need you to become our PARTNER in the work of compassion and community renewal--work that continues day after day at CitySquare.