By D.A. Hosek 

Chicago Sonnet 17

Father Pfleger sits at the piano keyboard
and fingers a diminished seventh. He begins to sing
A gospel song, his voice a diminuendo in
The dimly-lit church. On Sunday morning the pews

Overflow, the choir sways, drums, bass and organ fill
The air, but tonight the priest is alone
Under the eyes of God looking down
From the cross. Forty years he has served

The church, a thorn even when he tried occasionally
Not to be. Sometimes hypocrite, sometimes saint,
Always human and when the accusations came
He could only plead not guilty while the

Media played prurient purveyor of rumor, his
Vindication relegated to the inner pages of section two.


Chicago Sonnet #24

See this vacant lot. It was once a home.
See this empty store. It once sold candy
to children on bicycles chasing streetcars each
summer day while music played and water sprayed.

Then the children left and their parents
ripped the phones from the walls of homes sold
at bargain prices out of fear of the Black
woman pushing a baby carriage down Cermak.

See this neighborhood. It was bought cheap
and sold dear, its promises an illusion.
Riches were destined for parasitic hands.

Those few who stayed on, soon discovered
how neglect from the top followed the
change of the neighborhood’s complexion.



Filled with the feel of humidity in winter,
jungle foliage under glass with the desert
one room away, cactus and palm trees
dwelled together at last. There was a

hailstorm, hail big as softballs
(maybe not so large, but it makes a better story)
shattering the roof and walls of the
conservatory, bringing cold into the

tropics and water to the desert. Closed for
years while park district employees
on hands and knees collected glass shards
from fertile humus and sterile sand.

And now no trace remains of the broken
glass, all wiped clean like history’s wounds.

D. A. Hosek’s poetry has appeared in Meniscus, California Quarterly, Rat’s Ass Review, I-70 Review and elsewhere. He earned his MFA from the University of Tampa. He lives and writes in Oak Park, IL and spends his days as an insignificant cog in the machinery of corporate America.