Topeka Flirts With Detroit
by Tara Bartley
We are swallowed into the belly of a dying beast.
What is a community for but to be piously sacrificed
Come the need for economic feast.
The greatest appetizer is our neglect.
We are so hungry in the Southeast decay.
Pipe dreams of rising from poverty,
Like a lotus from murky water
Are choked in polluting smoke.
The youth who never had the chance to breathe
Are understanding to ask “why fucking bother?”
We left Topeka.
Faded away as the businesses and prosperity
We did the same as Power and Opportunity,
And ran away from the trashside of the city,
We the diaspora of financial deviants.
The headlights shone on the sign
“Kansas City”, an arrow pointing right.
We have a chance…
Past the excitement of all that is new,
There are ticks on her under belly,
A deceiving face who will consume us too,
This unkempt land, a home for “reform”
Where many are forgotten
Where nothing is different.
They had surely sold what was mine
To ravish my Topeka in a conservative plight.
Where do we go?
Tara Bartley is currently a junior at Washburn University in Topeka, KS, majoring in history with a dual minor in English and Sociology. A lifelong resident of Topeka, Kansas, she is active in its ever-expanding poetry scene as a member and hocker of the Speak Easy Poets. Her passion for writing has been highly influenced by her development in the Kansan inner-city, especially the Conservative, legislative stranglehold that tries to keep her in it.
Image courtesy Midwest Living