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Sidewalk Poem

You can die on the sidewalk

with no place to sleep

because here in Missoula

even sidewalks aren't cheap.

Our dear city leaders

want more sidewalks to die on,

giving churches opportunities

to provide blankets and soup.

Sidewalks aren't cheap

some residents now know

after Thanksgiving-week letters

arrived with the snow.

And speaking of snow,

stiffer fines are coming

for failing to shovel.

Grandma! Work off that stuffing!

You may think Missoula

is a wonderful place,

with rivers and mountains

and great food to taste,

but if you're poor and disabled

or elderly and infirm

or not working in tech

this poet can confirm

your worries aren't shared

by the luminous ones

who know better than you

and control all the funds.

Travis Mateer,


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