Spades in the dirt

The come and go of workers
with plans and dreams
Hopes and ventures,
Clutching spades in our dirt,
There hurries the expert
In the city’s work and play
Whose pace it seems
Drives the night and day

When the city’s best
Use profits for jest
They forget the worker on the side
Who with tears in the sand
Daily sows her pride
To the city’s demand
Then new gusts of plights
Surge like smog over blinking lights
To shadow the city’s way
And trouble its night and day

Awaken the hour, you with sight
Chasten the zeal of goals that hurt
See the weeper under the city’s might;
Attune your song to the face
Of hope in grace
From the one next to you
Who thinks of those she must feed
She presides over the city’s need;
She leans on all that is due
And breathes on our spades in the dirt.
Her charge alone, in the end, must weigh
The city’s work and play

Dedicated to: Mary Jo Leddy, who taught me to go deeper to hear the voice of my neighbor in my city