At the Boogie Down Grind,

by natalie n. caro


The new urban strategists call  our community centers

shabby, say  we need to be more classy, more  savvy;

say we need to sell out

                                           to move on up, town.


So they construct  33 floor condominiums were the hotspots   

used to be, coffee shops on la esquina  and art studios with

pedigree  in the building  replacing quinceañeras  y bautizos

 with Cafe au Lait, with Cabernets, with        Baroque.


Once children of this place, the /newly converted/

come hungry to sever   whatever remains of the past.

Dust pan and ivy league degree in hand, they

they  draft award winning    concrete plans.


Hear ye, Hear ye, our saviors  holding legal letter pads

Arrive! They’ve come to tell us to stop being victims.

“Start your own business, get off government aid,”

                                     pockets Fresh-Direct ly filled.


How simple a solution!        Of course! How could we  

not have thought of this before?   All it ever took was

a pulling of the straps on a boot. A tugging at strings


with more vibrato,


to make us less po/ur.


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