The Dead Building

July 22nd, 2021

By: Anna Johnson


Once i knew
This old building
Dusty, broken windows
Separated paint
Hidden stories in cracks

Every apartment
Showed a different side
Of themselves, of the building
Empty refrigerators and notice bills
Mouths to feed
Plates filled with deprivation

Every day for ten years
I walked past it
Then twenty
I had wished it would last to thirty But

Once i knew a building
On its last breath
Trying to be a momentum
Of our drifting community
Poor, and tired
Falling asleep, empty
Much like the building

Today i walked past it
A starbucks now
iced coffee
Where was once
The burning dreams of a man in his twenties
That now lives on the east side
Where buildings like these
Would be the abode of an addict
And he too would cover his nose
When he walked past the building.

Author's Note

This poem reflects on gentrification and the growing capitalization of societies that once created emotional attachments for people. It focuses on the lack of emotional connections that exist today due to the falling in and out of trends and the growing monopolization of very few companies. It emphasizes how rent and cost of living increase in poor communities but there is no development in education or provision of employment and thus underprivileged people are run out of their own communities with nowhere to go.

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