Reading Time: 2 minutes

My selection today is another by poetess Lorri Ventura.  Lorri (you may remember from my introduction to "The Tin Dollshouse" featured earlier in my picks) is a retired special education administrator who lives in Massachusetts, USA.  Her poetry has been featured in a number of anthologies and journals, and has won three Moon Prizes.

Once again, Lorri has produced a poem that highlights societal failings that clearly concern her.  Lorri's poem only strengthens my own concerns for man's apparent disregard for his fellow man. You can read more of Lorri's poetry here
A minefield of homeless people
Strewn like pickup sticks
Across the pavement
On the brick and concrete sidewalks
Of Central Square
Shoppers zigzag around them
With their eyes locked on their cell phones
To avoid truly seeing
Those less fortunate than they
Cocooned in layers of raggedy cardigans
A spavined woman sprawls along a bench
Clutching the matted fur
Of a pumpkin-colored cat
Curled, Cheeto-like,
Against her torso
A bearded man
Lost in billowing, cookie dough camouflage pants
Lurches forward in a wheelchair
That seems to be held together
By bumper stickers
He extends a coffee-stained paper cup
Toward passersby
Hoping for charity
Chuckling, he points to the largest decal
Its message:
“So many pedestrians, so little time."
A trio of laughing college students
Engrossed in conversation
Trample on a potholder-crocheted afghan
That a young girl has spread out on the sidewalk
To define the boundaries of her “home”
She glares up
Spitting profanities at the oblivious trespassers
Her peers in age if not in fortune
And brusquely swats at the footprints
Left on her most precious possession

Dickensian scenes in the 21st century
Mock our claims of social enlightenment
Expose our lack of humaneness
And beg us all to wake up

© Lorri Ventura 2023