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Ghost in the Machine
By Julian Drury
He is unseen and patient day and night,
Standing under the overpass near Lee Circle.
His left arm is dearly missed,
Holding a cardboard sign in his teeth.
A white dog with a red bandana is his companion,
The dog sitting still and observant next to him.
He wears no shirt, stained jeans cover his legs,
Shoes do not cover his feet.
Four Cadillacs, nine Toyotas, and six Chevys have passed,
Two drivers offered change, the others sped along.
The summers are blazing, unforgiving heat,
Winters are cold and lack the spirit of giving.
The machine functions the same,
Powered by expensive cars and apathy.
Drivers believe in the democracy of selfishness,
Hypocrisy a point of pride and identity.
They refuse to see him,
Holding the cardboard sign in his teeth.
He is a ghost, an unpleasant reality,
Disguised as the myth of the American dream.
Thoughts and prayers are easy to give,
Cheap and disposable like Mardi Gras beads.
There is no food for his hungry mind,
His belly empty and pride starved.
He will stand patiently under the overpass,
The sign in his teeth crying for acknowledgement.
As a ghost, ignored and feared,
He jams the cogs of the machine.