Street Psalm

Written 12/89

For the freedom of the air

that absorbs the smoke of hand-rolled cigs

that forgets every fuck-you roared into it

that lays a blanket of dew on the sleeping bags

of the righteous and the thieves and the snitches alike

Praise the Lord.


For Mr. Jones, who somehow must be met

for the spirit sought in the needle and the crack pipe

for the soul sought in every short-dog of fortified wine

for the fleeting hope of the rush and the buzz

Praise God.


For the solidarity shown by every victim of our street scams

for the genuine care expressed by the suckers we’ve hustled

for the wise people we spare-changed who knew what we’d do with it

for the sincerity of the church folks who feed us at the missions

Thank you, Jesus.


For the many blessings of the streets

for the brother and sisterhood of the hustle

for giving life and death intensity to what would otherwise be a routine

for trips to the emergency room with its pretty nurses and good food

for never being sure what will go down next, for good or ill

Hallelujia, Lord.


Review & Commentary

  • Dudley Gilmer