Detroit’s Elegance

by steve wardrip

From afar, no cars, no bars, no prisons, no whiskey, no crack, no meth, no heroin, no prostitution, no gangs, no gangbangs, no murder, no drive-bys.

Neon, glitter, pastie star babysitter, first obstacle, a professional bullshitter,
Showing you something unique, who would think she’d fall from grace?

Old enough to know better, thrown into opportunity with no degree in street, You are rich they shout from the roof, board room weeps. Survive.

Going dark, the sun goes down, in Detroit, not the only thing going down, Finally the lights come on putting a new atmosphere here, under the bridge.

Face obstacles every difficult morning, I’m a fighter, don’t let myself down
Lie in the gutter or shake it off and go downtown, talk to people sensible.

Some of those people make sense at the food court in the mall, leaving food They didn’t want is a blessing to my stomach on a tough day on the street.

Cold winter night, three sleeping bags, flashlight some canned food, heaven
Thankful not to die, hope I don’t get busted and run off from heaven. Hope.

These houses empty, doors locked, people freezing in the streets, will work
The homeless who walk by were skilled workers, jobs, families, homelife.

If the soil won’t grow life, put it in a box, feed it and watch it grow.
Much like prisoners guaranteed three meals a day, a bunk, medicine.

Yeah, used to work here, a small fortune, spent all having fun, experience, Last minute dreams now, ninja warrior jumping off the balcony to the rescue

New sidewalks are lonely, leading nowhere new, same old dumpster food, Same old Wyn-Dixie, Dixiy Cream Donuts, Stale Subwey throw aways, free.

My friend offered me a place to stay for a month while the owner’s away, 
I enjoy my security, store up food, feel half human for a week or two, safe.

My home, a mansion, warm, safe and strong, the nights are short, days long,
I can read magazines, sip Cocola, nap and clean up with a gallon of water

Dreaming of moving if no one sees, I want to go in and have a cup of tea! 
Think no one will see, I stealthily through the back door squeeze, wow! Free!

I know a guy who has a job, a house, and bought me lunch at the bus stop. 
He is smart, cool, friendly and fun, he told me to come to church sometime.

I live by the rules of the street, don’t be ate and be sure you eat, important, Everyone you meet in the street, be discreet, light on your feet, survival feat.

Options include choice of trash toters. This family throws away good food! Every day I can count on something in rolled up foil or a clean plastic bag.

Two out of three empty. They come to one, run to the other, under cover. That’s how you survive on the the street, keep moving in secret. Survive.

Lived here for a spell, it turned into hell. Crackheads, prostitutes, drunks
Cops all the time, crime, drugs, danger in sleep, bunch of creeps. Survive.

My girlfriend lived here. She used to buy my beer. She went away to college. I’m still here. She will come back. She said she loves me and I am true. True.

If I was to build a house, my true love, I’d build it here where we drank beer.
Firm foundation is already there, it only needs the weight of a house to bear.

I have friends everywhere, on the left, Ora lives there, on the right is Gilbert.
One block from here is Jerry and Susanne, another block Tannie and Smith.

Sure, I get lonely, wouldn’t you? I’m out here all day with nothing to do. 
Survival is keeping moving, staying healthy, mind, body and soul. Survive.

Walnut trees bear fruit, it’s free for the gathering, I love Walnuts I picked.
Know where three pecan trees are, they don’t grow this far North. Don’t tell.

The food bank on the corner gives me everything I need, a big box of food!
I love people at the food bank, we are thankful, sincere, kind to each other.

Don’t go here after dark, a dangerous place, you get shot showing your face.
Stay out of sight to be safe in the night, can’t go wrong in your secret place.

One of my favorite places, the old abandoned hotel parking garage. So safe.
No one bugs you, a hotel room with a view, a secret to a few, survive we do.

My hotel suite is so very sweet, I think I’ll just lounge on a neat fainting seat.
There’s the cafe, got the whole place to myself, table, chairs, grocery shelf.

Here, my office on the fifteenth floor, where I get by them guarding the door,
No alarms on the mail shoot in the back behind debris, climb the stairwell.

Schools, churches make good homes too, that’s if the cops don’t chase you
I’ve been in a squad car and told what to do. Homeless? The shelter for you.

I like old factories where people used to work, away from residential jerks,
What I like is freedom, to go, see and do. I could work in this plant too.

Where I reside, the Upper East Side, by the freeway, no walking allowed. Talk to neighbors. They don’t reply, smile and say, “Here’s mud in your eye.”

Slot machine down by the pier, dancing girls, party guys, whiskey and beer,
What fun it is to ride the ferris wheel, somebody gave me a homeless deal.

Someday I’ll be rich like the folks in these mansions, they have lights,
Some night for me the light will shine, Won’t that be fine all the time?

One clap, two clap, three clap, forty?

By clapping more or less, you can signal to us which stories really stand out.