April 29, 2015

A Community Nobody Wants by William Cullen Jr.

Wedding rings seem out of place
in this neighborhood of boarded-up homes.
A gaudy money clip in the other counter
is just a few tricks away
from being bought by the local pimp.
Unlike the orphanage across the street
the pawn shop gets to sell off its inventory.
People do business in whispers here
as if the items being left behind
were children they’d never come back for
as they gun their nearly broken down cars
in any direction heading away
praying they can reach
escape velocity.

William Cullen Jr. is a veteran and works at a social services non-profit in Brooklyn, NY. His poetry has appeared in Allegro, Canary, Christian Science Monitor, Gulf Stream, Right Hand Pointing, Spillway, and Word Riot.


  1. It's great work throughout, but the middle (orphanage / pawn shop) lines say it all.