Shame in the City

Written for:  dVerse Poets Pub Open Link Night #211 (posted by Grace)

Tenants in the Bronx are tortured
by chill ill winds outside
and in. Families, elderly,
ailing, boil water in large
pots to warm a tiny spot on
kitchen floor where they sit
near open door of oven. Local
news stations carry their plight.
New York City Housing Authority
says they are working on it.
After how many complaints?
After story of shame was
telecast? Who is responsible
for this situation? Is station
in life a factor? It has been
eight days. Chill ill winds blow.

About purplepeninportland

I am a freelance poet, born and bred in Brooklyn, New York. I live with my husband, John, and two charming rescue dogs–Marion Miller and Murphy. We spent eight lovely years in Portland, OR, but are now back in New York. My goal is to create and share poetry with others who write, or simply enjoy reading poetry. I hope to touch a nerve in you, and feel your sparks as well.
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23 Responses to Shame in the City

  1. Kathleen says:

    Wow such anger!! Such a gripping piece.


  2. Thank you for raising awareness about this Sara and I hope these people will have their heating restored and find the warmth they need, both inside and out, this Winter ☺🙋‍♀️ xxx


  3. MNL says:

    intense. that kind of cold is harsh. don’t know that news story (being in another state) but hope they fix it soon


  4. Frank Hubeny says:

    You described this sad situation well: “boil water in large
    pots to warm a tiny spot on
    kitchen floor where they sit
    near open door of oven”


  5. Sad state when elderly are last, or forgotten completely.


  6. Sanaa Rizvi says:

    I truly hope that these people have their heating restored and find comfort this Winter.


  7. ladynyo says:

    This is a slice of real life, and I appreciate you bringing this to our eyes. The elderly, the infirm ..always a struggle for life. And the anger you call too is justified. This morning, as I went to feed stray cats, I heard on NPR a report somewhere I believe in Syria, a man talking about trying to find his family, so many dead, that his sister in law, just slight cough, slight illness, was killed by her family and thrown in the river. “No one wants to live with the ill.” That hit me hard, and your poem, also.


  8. I think you can find the cause in slumlord practices… maybe POTUS knows…


  9. Back in the 60’s during a semester break I worked part time in the Bronx. It was summer and the only way these poor people could cool down was to open the fire hydrants. They are the victims of extremes.


  10. mhmp77 says:


    Chill ill winds dealings with the authorities that one invariably suffers more than the number of complaints sent! Apparently it is one of NYC’s severest winters in memory



  11. They are working on it. I question whether some people, authorities mostly, know what work is.

    Liked by 1 person

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