DMS ( / Columbus, Ohio)

Slum Sorrow

The rays of merciless summer sun
Pierce blind drawn over an open window.
Shreds of wallpaper hang like down-drawn
Accusing fingers on tenement walls.
Shrill screams from ragged children.
Dodging traffic for thrown ball,
Fill the torpid air with urgent energy.
In the hot gloom of a room a woman sits
Heavy with misery.
Slow tears mingle with sour sweat
Over slack jawed, empty-eyed face.
Amid disordered rumple of corner bed lies,
Sodden in stench of drink, a man
Who clutches a cudgel used in drunken rage
Of the shrinking acceptance on the body
Of the woman with slum's tolerance
Of sorrow, brutal and frequent.

by Dorothy M. Schreiber

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