The Sound of Neglect

With apologies to Langston Hughes and in memory of all those who perished in Minneapolis, New Orleans, and elsewhere across this neglected land, I offer the following original poem:

The Sound of Neglect

How does neglect sound?

Does it groan and screech
like a bridge in collapse?
Or rattle and huff
like a bum seeking scraps?
Does it rumble and gush
like a levee split wide?
Or moan and wheeze
like a patient denied?

Maybe it sniffles and wails
like a child unfed.

Or is it silent—
like the dead?

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