Haight Street - September 1998

At 6PM the sun going down
hovering,searingly bright,
in the middle of Haight Street.
The street left to the homeless
sitting alone and in groups
in front of liquor stores
between buildings drinking coffee.
Old and young men and women
alcohol and drug addicted,
mad and down and out.

A few are standing on corners
selling their artwork.
One young boy holds up
psychedelic water colors.
Another with squiggly lined
pen and ink drawings
taking the shape of monsters.
A young girl with a ring
through her upper lip
reading from her hand written poems
to the almost empty street,
"I ruminate in the desolation of America."

The mural of Bob Marley
painted on a corner grocery store
at Haight and Central,
the last mural heading downtown
and the first one coming into the Haight
has written across its top,
"Respect is the only thing we have."

© Copyright by Allen Cohen. All rights reserved.
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