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Barbara Daniels

Street Shrine

Left Panel from the Williamsburg Housing Project murals by Paul Kelpe

Someone tied teddy bears
and balloons to a street sign
just a few blocks from your house.

It means a child died.
Stars shine by day,
but they’re not visible.

Make your heart colder. Turn away
from the bare-chested hills
and old broken trees

with their leathery leaves.
Quit calling on God. Just say
a charm against despair and

bless the dead in refrigerated trucks.
What slips from the sky,
what mercy? Here there’s pale

sunlight. Call it peace—quiet
traffic, looping power lines,
nodding, deflating balloons.

 

About the writer:
Barbara Daniels’s Talk to the Lioness was published by Casa de Cinco Hermanas Press. Her poetry has recently appeared in Concho River Review, Dodging the Rain, and Philadelphia Stories. She received four fellowships from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts.

Image: Left Panel from the Williamsburg Housing Project murals by Paul Kelpe (1902-1985). Oil on canvas. 98.2 × 89.4 inches. 1938. Public domain.

 

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