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Wednesday, August 31, 2005


by Jen Hinton

It wasn’t the prayers
of today that saved them;
but the thousands of
ancient prayers lifted up
from long-ago slaves
for their freedkin 200
years later; waiting
eight hours in a line
of last resort for a
shelter cobbled together
with flimsy hope and
slapdash assurances
that it might be able to
withstand the forces
of Cat 5 tribulations.
Always waiting;
always praying;
always impoverished;
always choiceless;
always fucked.
Was it a city manager
who once stated,
“In any catastrophe,
the poor and the brown
are always the first to die?”
From New Orleans to
New Delhi. So,
the first thing
one must always
learn to do is to
and to pray.

Jen Hinton lives in Schaumburg, Illinois. She has been published in several anthologies, including Skin Deep, Prairie Hearts, and Alternatives: Roads Not Taken.