The Least Of These

Iron gates protect
little more than
crumbling stones
and the sleepless
who tuck themselves
into poverty as if
it was a choice.

The city sings
in lighted streets,
but the alley moans
a faceless tune
the blessed choose
to not hear.

The tired, the poor,
the broken gather
like pigeons to roost
in the shadow of a
church guarded
by a marble Jesus.

©Susie Clevenger 2014


Unknown said…
"Confessions of a Laundry Goddess" has been included in the A Sunday Drive for this week. Be assured that we hope this helps to point even more new visitors in your direction.
brudberg said…
Those alleys where the poor can find their shelter while the fortunate pass by.. Well expressed on the differences and that only crumbling stones protect.
Sumana Roy said…
some fascinating imagery and contrasts the roosting pigeons "in the shadow of a church guarded by a marble Jesus."...great lines Susie..
Kerry O'Connor said…
the sleepless
who tuck themselves
into poverty..

Each line of this poem is so well expressed, Susie and contains real social commentary.
hedgewitch said…
Rather a devastating poem in its simplicity and directness, Susie. This is also the pic I chose to write to, back when the prompt originally made the rounds. It has such a feeling of melancholy, and for some reason, that gate seems more menacing than open to any good thing. The second stanza here is heart-breakingly true, and all of it real and strong.
Marian said…
yes, sometimes one comes upon an ornate gate guarding... what? what did it formerly close out, and who is closed in now? interesting musing, Susie.
Sherry Blue Sky said…
Whoa, is this ever powerful! The poor tucking themselves in as if they have a choice......and the marble Jesus, the fortunate who turn their eyes away. Great work, Susie!
Isadora Gruye said…
I am so glad my photo shook loose some poetry for you! This piece is lovely in the scope of it's heart ache. My favorite line being "the alley moans
a faceless tune" ..well done and viva la
Jim said…
Hi Susie, this is a 'read-it-and-think' poem. I like it.

The message to me was "so close, yet so far away." The marble Jesus didn't have the answer, I wonder what the living Jesus had.
Susan said…
The landscape unheard is like a dormant volcano in your poem, one waiting powerfully to explode. I adore the lighted streets singing while " the alley moans a faceless tune." I have never thought of the poor gathering like pigeons before, but it works for the tune, for the sense of filth, for the love of Jesus.
Scarlet said…
Vivid words, painting an imagery when I walk along city with homeless begging on streets ~ Title and meaning of church resonated strongly with me Susie ~
Ella said…
I could see your poem~ The highs and lows of the city and what still stirs and never rest~ Bravo!
Hannah said…
This is a powerful writing, a face to the faceless...and so much more. Well written indeed!
In the shadow of a church guarded by a marble Jesus---

powerful image to close with--ironic really--