Poem: Graffiti



The paint is old.
Some of it has faded
and the last word or two are uncertain,
and yet still, it sings its story.

You are not certain if it is a blight
or whether the black marks on the old brick
overcome its law-breaking message.

The wall, after all, is a mere alley,
hidden away, making the spray-painted love poem
something less of a declaration
than a whisper.

About this poem

The picture was taken in Whitehall, NY, on a back street.

I often wonder about graffiti. What it means. The back story. What was it like to secretively paint at night, alert and afraid of getting caught? What is so important that damaging other’s walls is considered a good thing? What the artists think, years later, as the paint fades, or as others paint over them?

I think about a lot of strange stuff.


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