Safety Net

by Ray
Wild Poetry Forum
Second Place, May 2022
Judged by M.B. McLatchey

I’m learning to lean on the welfare state;
my buddies have crutches, we congregate
to spray on authentic public space.
The sweepers arrive before sleepers awake
and scrape off the latest layer of paint
from every conceivable surface.
Bookcases are hired to the homeless,
park benches reinvented as sofas.
We’re squinting where the roof was
at the cosmos; heaven’s drifting in
and out of focus. I’m almost up
to my ankles in twilight.

“Safety Net” portrays the disorienting impact of dependence, not simply for the individual but for the community s/he inhabits: “heaven’s drifting in/and out of focus. I’m almost up/ to my ankles in twilight”. A provocative meditation on the human spirit. --M.B. McLatchey