They call it the 911 incident
on Cantonese cable news on the Jade
Channel, the 911 tragedy of the century,
the 911 event with olds
as shortened from over-
seas networks. And all this talk on CNN
about "the nation," about "our freedom"
at stake. What I'd like to know is how it affects the steak of the bearded
black man with a cap handing me The Street
Sheet at a bus stop. So I give him a buck or two and ask
for an ear's allowance.
So the giving's gotten a bit tougher,
Shelter funds cut, press gone cold,
stacked papers yellowed, days gotten colder. . . .
I thank him and shift to circulate some blood.
Two bucks shorter of a bus ride, I have the caloric leisure to walk
the 36 blocks home and yet I'm no closer
To solving the "homeless problem."
Copyright Gloria Ng, 2002