Keep your eyes to the ground
As you walk down this road.
Do not look up to see
Whom it is that you pass.
Stay to the edge of this wet path,
Balance o’er the precipice, the puddles,
To avoid the shadowy faces.
Avert your gaze and stare at
The light reflecting on the grass,
The muddy grass in which you walk.
Gangs like ghostly monks gather at corners,
And you must decide if it is safe there,
To walk there or to run away.
The hidden faces, the howling voices,
Silence, then a crescendo as you pass.
Keep your head bowed as you pass the crowd, for
You are pathetic as you walk alone,
Afraid, in your sad, solitary state.
Scrape your arm against the dirty wall and
Do not react when you are forced into
The wet hedges, flaking paint on fences.
Sigh as you stand at your front door,
Then close it quickly behind you.