Listen to East Buffalo
By Vindhya Kathuria
to the child crying on the cracked sidewalk,
nursing their scraped and bruised knee after
plunging into a pothole filled with broken promises of
requests for road repairs that no one really cares enough to act upon.
to the wind that incessantly wails in the vacant lots,
willing life to be sprung, and for something meaningful to be done.
All this empty land being cruelly withheld,
because the city isn’t the least bit compelled to develop it.
to the rumbling bellies eagerly waiting for mom to come home from the store.
She had to commute all the way across town just for some milk and bread
because the one and only grocery store in the neighborhood they went to before
is now no more.
to East Buffalo.
Reflection on my piece
In thinking about what I learned during my first month as a High Road Fellow, the first thing that came to mind is listening. It may sound simple, but listening to the needs of community members, listening to our Friday speakers, listening to my fellow Fellows, I have learnt so incredibly much. My poem is certainly inspired by Dr Taylor’s talk as well as conversations I continue to have with my supervisors about East Buffalo, as that is the primary community my organization serves. It is important, now more than ever, that we truly listen to the needs of the East Buffalo community; and not only listen to those needs, but actively respond to them.