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The Lost Kids of New Orleans

William Miller

Inked, pierced, dressed
in tie-dye rags, they walk
the old brick streets

Some play a beat-up
guitar for cigarettes
and spare change,
play even in the rain.

Others dance on
Jackson Square
when no music is playing,
dervishes on
the flagstones.

They all have a story:
parents who kicked
them out for refusing
to work, stay in school.
mine caves in Afghanistan.

At sundown, they sit
by the river, huddle
in groups of twos
and threes smoking
a glass pipe for residue.

And they sing, laugh
crazily while the moon
slowly rises on them,
rises until they fall
asleep in each other’s
dirty arms, not lost
at all.

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