Jeff Friedman The 2River View, 6.4 (Summer 2002)
The Squatters

The iron ball swung
back and forth. The din was so loud
our children held their ears
and trembled as the force of it
vibrated through their bodies.

The building shook
and swayed more violently
with each blow until it buckled
into a mound of bricks.

A light in the distance made
a window on the darkness,
where the dying grail
flickered. While trucks rumbled
over the rubble, a long
tongue deciphered the dust
and debris.

At our feet, a pool grew large
and still, inky with oil.
The statue of our city's protectress
held her eyes shut to the stink.
It was time for us to leave,
time for us to find another
boarded-up building.

A silver trail drilled
through the murderous dusk.
We carried away what we could.

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