Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, COOPER SQUARE, by KAREN SWENSON

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COOPER SQUARE, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: A mother on long island buys her son
Last Line: And beg beyond all affluence.
Subject(s): Drugs & Drug Abuse; New York City; Manhattan; New York, New York; The Big Apple

A mother on Long Island buys her son
heroin out of her household money, puts
it on the list between coffee and lightbulbs
and counts her rosary at night.

Manhattan has gone back to beads.
They necklace the cube in Cooper Square.
Daddy's strung-out seeds in Manhattan's labyrinth
become an indeterminate disease of initials, OD and DOA.

On 105th St. an OD waits to become a DOA
in the brick-and-broken-bottle sun.
The children park their bicycles to pick his pockets.
The old woman in the liquor store calls the cops.

Experimenting with their own chemistry
the flower children, all their petals blown,
lean hungry under the cube in Cooper Square
and beg beyond all affluence.

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