Poetry/third place

Urban Madonna


She’s a splotchy Virgin
with the spent spray paint
of her anonymous violators.


She stands always erect
surrounded by an inverted halo
of dull asphalt and cement,


in a patch of burnt grass
and a few thriving weeds.
She’s an unwavering apparition


with generous hands outstretched,
and a serene face
that looks upon but not down on


the fumy rush of traffic
ignorant of or baffled by
her incongruous and anachronistic




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