They were the ones
Who grew up downtown
In barrio streets and
Wandered these neighborhoods
Long after curfew.

They tell the stories
Of addiction and
Wild saturday nights
They saw way back when
Where they came from.

Dirty and dangerous, where
You could well be caught dead
Without a knife or brass
Knuckles in your hand
Or emptied pockets.

Yet alive and wonderful,
How I’m told that every
Deal made and impromptu road trip
Had people smiling like
It was common on any day.

They speak so adamantly,
Nostalgia for perhaps unproud things,
Yet when I drive down those streets now
I can see nothing but colorless people
And newly constructed buildings.

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