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John Grey

The Winter of Mean Streets

The Winter of Mean Streets

Deep snow
merely puts violence on hold.
The streets are serene and safe
but only because they're empty.

That stoop
buried in drifts
is the crown jewel
of summer shootouts -
not one,
but two bodies
slumped across those steps
this past July.

Sidewalks are free of footprints -
ideal training ground for ghosts.
Ice daggers hang from eaves.
They're like the weapons
gangs brandish
except these get to melt in time.

Maybe it should always be winter,
some mothers reckon.
A prison maybe
but with a warden who knows how to love.


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John Grey is an Australian born poet with recently published in Oyez Review, Rockhurst Review and Spindrift and work upcoming in New Plains Review, Big Muddy Review, Willow Review and Louisiana Literature.  

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