401 E. 12th Ave.

Dried out wood and rusted bars
surrounded by over grown weeds...

...Children laughing (Pale faces and hands)
as their parents watch them play,
counting down the days until they can return home...

...Three stories of red water stained bricks.
Columns of power, and hope
engulf the balconies and French doors.
(pressed against) Windows who's off-white
trim flakes away, while the glass covers
the abandoned hallway floors.

Weeds weave through the cracked
parking lot leading to the smokestack.
The bus of dreams still exists;
the paint is faded, the sides dented,
and the windows broke (but when I look
in all I see is old desks and chairs,
with a few beds turned on end.)

"Delivery Entrance" still hangs,
hidden in the corner of the East wing.
The doors remain locked
and the new signs say, "Keep Out."

So many stories trapped inside the walls,
and all that most people see are the busted
lamp posts, that lead to the flag pole;
where the anthem use to play each morning.