Line in the Sand

Line in the Sand
by James H Duncan
never seen Harlem except from a window,
usually at night high up above the faces
lumbering in and out of the ancient shadows,
and then the trains dive beneath the pavement,
or the busses turn the corner to Columbia,
or the plane banks and drifts across the sea;
never seen Harlem except from a window;
does it exist? where does 125th Street go
when no one is looking with their eyes?
it’s still there, a line in the sand and stone
built by dead hands and forgotten, at least
forgotten in my bloodline, never knowing
the music that doesn’t even care if my ears
hear the heartbeat; some waves were not
meant to roll with the tide, and some windows
only show your own face looking back at night

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