Skip to main content
Cornell University mobile logo

Buffalo Co-Lab

skyline of Buffalo

Buffalo Co-Lab advances an equitable economy and democratic community, collaboratively integrating scholarly and practical understanding to strengthen civic action.

Listen to East Buffalo

Buffalo Strong

By Vindhya Kathuria

Listen
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.

Listen 
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.

Listen 
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.

Listen 
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.