First Responders

by George Wynn

On certain days certain people
respond in times of trouble
and certain people are frozen
and certain people comfort
the shattered with
gentle or tough eye
maybe pushing them to hold on
maybe to hold on to them
Isn’t this the friend
innocent eyes demand
when their whole being is
absorbed in fear with the plea of
“Please don’t turn away from me?”
Throughout history
when so much is needed
first responders have
mattered more than the famous
They the ordinary
become extraordinary
some even masters
of the tourniquet
whose faces the comforted
never ever forget

Working Class Mother Blues

by George Wynn

In the Midnight hour
I spot a white haired
lady weeping on a
6th Street curb
After wiping her eyes
with my mini Kleenex tissues
she says, “I’m sixty—plus some
I’m obsessing of what
might have been
had I had a chance
to do anything else
except sling hash at
Greyhound depots in Dixie
My husband called
me dumb
My children called
me dumb
Now I’m done
working and
I’m suffering alone
in an SRO
far from home.”

Heroine of the Bums

by George Wynn

An olive skinned woman
An oval face of passing sun
In Back Bay cafes
She argued hard
Against those who talked
of future doom
She was tall,
Slender cat-like features
A sucker for down-and-out creatures
She sashayed around
A 16th century Sephardic princess
She talked fast
Walked fast
She was heroine
Of the bums in Scolly Square
She could be funny, a dummy,
Love art, be smart
A Radcliffe graduate
Of astronomy
With wide scope
Focused on little people
Like you and me
Some people carry a city
With them
She was Bean Town Feisty
Like baseball fans
At Fenway Park
Of Bambino Curse renown
She gave
Life a whirl
Fire in her eye
Desire in her heart
Smart in her brain
Impossible to change
Giving out nickels and dimes
And being short on rent
All in the same day
She may be strolling tonight
Somewhere, everywhere
I hope she’s all right

A dove and angels in a stained glass window symbolize the presence of the Spirit.


In Dreams

by Claire J. Baker

When angels visit dressed in white,
in fragile slippers, golden wings,
they offer marshmallows, starry light.
When angels visit draped in white
of calm surrender to the night
they know the streets and gritty rings.
Angels, visit please, in white,
in fragile slippers, golden wings.


A Poem for Trayvon

by Sabreen Ali

I want to write
but I don’t know what to feel.
I carry in my heart
the vanquished cries of an
invisible black boy.
dying to be heard.
Oh, the heaviness
of these footprints
of these ghost trails.
He was but a child
at his journey’s end
swallowed by the shadow
of a once proud man
set free to roam the earth
free to stare into a mother’s eyes
who will never again gaze upon
her son.
and after lowering her baby
into the ground,
was the very last thing
to take from her.
The ruins of society
will set the most
precious souls
I sit in silence
for you
and pray
we remember your name.

That Loaf of Bread

by Carol Denney

that loaf of bread
that cup of coffee
that day-old sandwich
wrapped in cellophane
costs you as much
as that guy there
that guy across the street
getting into the taxi
in the nice Italian suit
headed for an all-expenses-paid
corporate lunch
with people who make
more than ten times
what your job pays you
when it pays you
if you’re lucky enough
to have a job
there’s no discount
on that loaf of bread
or that cup of coffee
or that day-old sandwich
you’re just expected
to be the hero
and take the hit
so that guy there
that guy across the street
in the nice Italian suit
can feel good about himself
and feel right about his world
and feel safe, really safe
from ever being you