The Real Estate Agent

The Real Estate Agent

by Frank Van Zant

Presumably he was new, didn’t know

the exact addresses, didn’t know

how Magnolia meets Simpson by Grand.


Strange. He stopped at each corner,

consulted that map. He was a mystic

searching for water with paper diviner.


Goddamn him!

Why did I realize

too late to say this to his face

he was hiding something?


(But it wasn’t the prison

he was hiding, not the psychiatric hospital–

we knew about these)


This man was hiding

an agenda, this man was steering

a social wheel:


we seemed too white


and he was steering us

behind around away

away from people of color

(he thought we wouldn’t like them)

toward $ in his greasy little pocket.


Goddamn the price

we still have to pay

for that marking map

that turned-back attitude

that wordless approval of hatred


this outrage

burning for him.

Van Zant has taught near-dropouts for 14 years and has written many other poems related to students in his alternative school–white, black and Hispanic (dysfunctionality knows no racial boundaries).

Copyright © 2000 Frank Van Zant. All rights reserved. {jos_sb_discuss:9}

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