Center cities, still, empty,
From that Friday 5 p.m., until Monday 9 a.m.
Blocks and blocks, sidewalks and sidewalks,
The weekend quiet, thousands gone to homes,
Well away from center cities ….
Look harder, look closer:
Families have gathered at the police station,
Bail ready to remove the family’s kin
After a night of drink, fighting, speeding ….
They wait under trees.
They wait near cars.
Soon, that kin will emerge
Into the familiar,
The night’s rage removed ….
Look harder, look closer,
Here families have gathered outside the jail complex,
Ready to sign in for a weekend visit, a half hour ….
In the doorways,
Under thin trees,
The call to enter
To see the face that was,
And is now brief ….
Center cities’ under life,
A fringe ….
Eugene “Gene” Novogrodsky, early November 2012