City Park

City Park used to be a gathering place
a festive area filled with tall trees, thick grass, and plenty of room
for all

basketball courts and a skate park
benches filled with families, la familia,
celebrations for every occasion
feliz cumpleaños dulce bebe

all the pictures, the memories, the history
gone now, thanks to bad policies, bad government,
and a blind eye turned

today the park is a tent city, transient homelessness,
people stumbling around trying to get back,
trying to find a way

it’s a dangerous place now, City Park,
fights and drugs and the crazies that deserve better

some say they are opportunists, they want to
“live that way” and maybe some are, some do, but
most don’t

i carry a gun when i walk by or through or near City Park,
too many times accosted by belligerents,
some with open hands, some with tightened fist,
some with knives

my opinion means little, when it comes to City Park
there’s no money to help, there’s no desire to help
bad policies, bad politicians, indifference and apathy

welcome to ‘merica and
not in my backyard and
not on my street and
not in my town,
but it is every town and street and backyard

today, tomorrow, forever

now please be quiet,
keep your head down,
and move along

just
move
along

Jack Henry is a poet based in the high desert of Southern California. He has recently emerged from a 10-year self-imposed exile from writing. Recent publications can be found in Raven’s Cage, Horror Sleaze Trash, Red Fez, Rusty Truck, Dope Fiend Daily, Smoking Typewriter, Misfits, and, forthcoming, Fearless. He also publishes Heroin Love Songs, a journal of poetic chaos. Read other articles by Jack.