Sestina! The Look!

It has always started with the look.
Beneath the surface, what you really see is fear,
in the eyes of the expressions on the faces that people
try to hide under the glare of the glimmering sky
which shows no mercy on the poor inner-city
and fries us until we are rescued by drops of rain.

We hate it! We hate it when there is rain
but it protects us from having to see the look
which we only see in the poor inner-city
because where else can you find that fear?
Then the puddles disappear, and out come the sky,
beautiful, full of clouds shaped like people.

From ants to flowers to animals to people,
Sunshine and peace returns as the rain
disappears. Good-bye, misery! Come on in, sky
but wait . . . there it goes, the look
which nothing can seem to stop fear
and ugliness from pouring onto the poor inner-city.

Life is especially hard in the poor inner-city
but of course, that doesn't stop people
from displaying their distrust and fear

until the clouds become dark, and rain
comes out, and helps wash away the look
which can only be seen under a clear, blue sky.

When you look up into heaven, beyond the sky
I wonder if God ever sees the poor inner-city?
And I wonder what we should think about the look?
It separates us by social class, and even as people,
but then out comes the umbrellas along with the rain.

Day turns to night, and increases your fear

of being raped or mugged. So you continue to fear
while the stars and moon fill the beautiful night sky.
Bugs, humidity, and rudeness come out after the rain
and take their turns wreaking havoc on the poor inner-city.

Nothing is going to change until we, as people,
stop making excuses to practice the look.

It's not just another day for people in the poor inner-city
because when someone gives the look of fear, the sky
fills with rain, and God gives us the look, of tears.
--Piper Davenport

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