The Ragman’s Voice

Crows the size of dogs
Walk brazenly down my alley
The lifeless limbs of small children
Dangle from their razored beaks
Just below their dangerous colorless eyeballs

The dense morning air informs
A violently suffocating day
The barbarous sun reflecting off
The faded pavement offers no comfort

The guttural grumble of distant thunder
Hangs over the shingled rooftops
A tattered shroud

The ragman’s voice cuts through
The open spaces void of sound
His sing-song cadence draws the women out

The plastic-heeled-vinyl-strapped sandals
Crack and pop against the wooden steps
The hair on their fragile heads
Is matted down with sweat and baby food
Mouths painted – eyes red

The ragman takes their remnants
Memories of their dingy lives
He heaps them up onto his battered old cart

The women scurry like panicked roaches
Back into their linoleum and tile kitchens
Leaving the Ragman’s voice
To sing his simple song

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