Sunday, April 4, 2010

At Blanco and Rector Street

By Karin Riley

To the East Berliners who now walk across
the Wall
shouting "freedom"
-a triumph-
I want to show them the man I saw
standing at the intersection today
he held a sign in capital letters
I AM HUNGRY
I WILL WORK FOR FOOD
and the cars rolled past and past
thinking of lunch
or perhaps annoyed that time is so short
and I
wrapped in shame for having
all along the highway the world blurred
because I cried
the arms of freedom
do not catch everyone gently.



--Published in Bullseye, my high school literary magazine, in 1990. Line breaks are different than they appear here.

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