Andreas Weiland 

                                          IN NEW YORK CITY

                                rumbling through
                                streets covered by potholes
                              the surface of the asphalt
                                  cracked open, by winter
                                        or an unrecorded earthquake
                         we had looked at the dirt on the
                                   cab's floor, noticed
                               the squeaking noises the car made
                       while the driver, a young Black American
                            told us everything we wanted to know
                          about how they don't get paid hourly wages
                           but lease a cab
                              from someone with a license
                            hoping to earn enough
                                       to buy a license, some day

                                  Picking up business
                             you have to pay
                                                    for the lease
                              for gas, minor repairs
                            hoping enough is left
                                                   to make a living

                          He was keen to move on
                              as we made our way 
                                      through Lower Manhattan
                        waiting at stop lights
                                     to let pedestrian traffic pass

                           That morning, we had walked down 
                         a sidestreet
                                          leading towards the Hudson
                          coming past the old Morning Star building
                                 the green, wooden window frames
                                           the red bricks
                                                   glowing warmly
                                                       in the sun

                           Looking at the row of
                                  brownstone houses
                                       in the shadow
                          the warehouse, down there
                                         near the waterfront
                        I had almost stumbled across
                          the old man, sitting, exhausted
                                          on stairs
                                                        leading up to
                                              a front door

                                That night, he told me, he had slept
                           in a garage, a man of seventy, veteran
                              of the war 
                                            of forty-one
                      who had no place to go to, now
                                 his legs and arms
                         showing the trace of burns
                       he had suffered
                                          in a car accident

                     Sitting next to him, on the stones of the staircase
                               I placed my arm around him
                           while he talked on, showing me
                                              his scarred leg
                              making me forget
                                            all I had read 
                             about tuberculosis
                                       among the down & out
                                                 in New York

                                                                 (1998; 2007)

                                           (From: Midwestern Vistas and Other Poems)