Casting Shadows




Jill May

followed the wrong dream

traded family albums for cardboard

and crack pipes.

Alcatraz fog

slips in steals shadows

surrounds her.

Turning tricks

on Jones Street

scoring the next fix

of crack

or smack.

“You know, I’m gonna clean up soon,”

she grinned.



in doorways

wrapped in mist–ragged blankets,

she slides the needle

in her neck

the best place to relieve

the cold shiver

the crack hunger

the throwing up

of dumpster food.

Dealers see her

talking to cops

debts unpaid

trying to clean up


they found her

doused with gas



a burnt cross,

casting a shadow

on a black wall.


10 Responses to Casting Shadows

  1. nochipa says:

    wow, scot, very powerful and the photo really adds to the image. i think that only adding “her” after dealers see would be enough change. i love this piece because it is a powerful portrayal of a desperate human being.


  2. Scot says:

    Thanks–makes a difference. Some readers couldn’t see that she was killed by the dealers. It actually was her husband’s debt…makes it more tragic.

  3. Sara says:

    Welcome to Poets Who Blog.

  4. Scot says:

    Thanks for the welcome

  5. reflux1 says:

    I enjoyed this as well, it is so powerful….

  6. Scot says:

    Thanks for the kind words and stopping by.

  7. johemmant says:

    Very, very powerful.

  8. 1poet4man says:

    …now that was painful…I use to live and breath her same air and I might have known her or been with her or someone like her…that past is such a blur…(thanks for the dose of reality)

  9. Scot says:

    This lady got stuck on the street in SF…I am glad you’re out…I’ll visit your site. Thanks for the comments.

  10. Scot says:


    Thanks again for the kind words.

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