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Sonnet for 1950
BY Jack Agueros
All the kids came rumbling down the wood tenement
Shaky stairs, sneakers slapping against the worn
Tin tread edges, downhall came Pepo, Chino, Cojo,
Curly bursting from the door like shells exploding
Singing "I'm a Rican Doodle Dandy" and "What shall
We be today, Doctors or Junkies, Soldiers or Winos?"
Pepo put a milk crate on a Spanish Harlem johnny pump
And drops opened like paratroopers carrying war news.
Then Urban Renewal attacked the pump, cleared the slums
Blamed Puerto Rico and dispersed the Spies, blasting
Them into the Army or Anywhere Avenue in the Bronx.
And nobody, but nobody, came back from that summer.
Just as Korea was death in service to the warring Nation
The Bronx was death in service to the negligent Nation
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