Bell Street Pier

"Are you the guard for the Pier?"
"No, for the store by the Pier."
"Oh, good. We should have protection from those bums
who camp out by the elevator.
for the people who live here.
We're from Phoenix and are buying a waterfront
condo for half a mil."
Well- Those guys under the viaduct, on the bank overlooking Elliot Bay-
Salmon People - been
here twelve thousand years (longer, if you ask them)
Lot's of photos of their canoes pulled up into this marsh - or Alaskan Way .
Photos of them watching traders in canoes- shellfish, bits of gossip, net
awls, measuring tools,
roots and smiles.
A hotel and two ten story office building will block the condos built last year.
"Take it under the Viaduct, Boys."
The cops would say. Hard luck drunks, veterans of very foriegn wars all beat
up, sodden brained
fishers, taking it under the viaduct.
They sit in the shelter of the 99 highway bridge and pass the bottle- tell
the same tales throw the
glass against the legs of concrete. The Way is fenced and locked.
Hard on the feet, concrete.
Slow down- don't run over the Salmon People - on
your fast way home inside
your box of concrete.


The background tile of Chief Seattle taken from the Suquamish Tribes Site

Smokey Joe's Poetry Corner

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Copyright © 1997 Carol Wolf

Copyright © 1997 Timothy M. Radonich