On 135th Street

Dead,
They said,
Heeding not the
Life that once was.
Dead,
Become invisible
In the rush hour,
Gnarled limbs
Spread wide,
Begging to be
Embraced
By the blind.
Dead,
I said,
Seeing beauty
In its rot,
Withered by
All it
Weathered
To stand sentinel
Over the asphalt
Battlefield,
Where battle lines
Are drawn
And crossed
By soldiers
Beholden to none.
Dead,
They said,
Sending the
Yellow caterpillar
To disappear it,
Leaving a hole
In the soul
Of the mother
That birthed it
So long ago.