Poem: “The Divide”

By Ramblin Hamlin

Leaving north St. Louis
Or was it south
No matter anymore
It’s all in disrepair

Battle lines
Drawn through gentrification
Dividing the Haves
From the Have Nots

This side of street holds skeletons
Literally the opposite side, mansions
The poor divided from the rich
Don’t get caught on ‘their’ side

This side of that road crumbles
One dilapidated church on every block
God don’t live here anymore
Done went and lives with the rich, now

No money for the homeless
Mom and Pop’s close left and right
Bet those new squad cars
Cost a pretty penny, though

Chalk out lines and police tape
Common one side
Devoid in the other
Of the Great Delmar Divide

And all is well
If you stay on your side
And they on theirs
Pretend neither exists

As winter closes in
Slum Lords take every penny
Never fixing the heat
Moving is unaffordable

On the other side
Brand new radiators for a one family flat
That once held four

If you can pay
You can stay
If you struggle
Struggle somewhere else

And here’s another empty church
Run down and caved in
Because god don’t live here anymore
Done went and lives with the rich now