Spartanburg, South Carolina
Wow. This one is strangely powerful. The message is very tight, but it could use some trimming.
In the second line, you need to drop the "is". I loved the fact that you used Atlanta. I was expecting a totally different message, though.
In verse one, line four I'd change the "she is" to "she's".
The next verse I'd modify slightly...
Line 1 I'd change "She" to "She's"
Line 2 I'd change to "And fell on some hard times"
And line four I'd change to "...crossed all the lines"
Line 4 of verse three I'd change to
"while greeting all she meets."
Line 1 of verse 5 needs more syllables. Try "You perhaps may have seen her"
Line 2 you should drop "her"
In Line 3 the emphasis on "Clearly" doesn't work right. You have a trochee at the beginning of an iambic line. I think some kind of exclaimation would work really well there instead. If the poem wasn't so modern, I'd suggest, "But soft! You never saw". BUT--Like I said, your piece is too modern. Maybe "But why?" or "But look!". Your call.
Verse 6, line 2, I'd suggest changing to "Watching you go down the line".
Verse 7 line 3 I'd change to "She cried out as he took her"
Line 4 is too long. Try "Taking pleasure in his find"
Verse 8 is your punch. It's good right now, but it needs to be perfect. You can have a few rhythmical flakes in the rest of the piece, but you really need to clean the last verse up because it's youre punch.
I'd suggest the following:
Surely you would have helped her
if you had only heard her screams.
Surely you would have woken,
from your quaint suburban dream.
All and all, this is a very powerful and moving piece. It's not a subject I would have broached, but you did it with a great amount of class.
I believe the most important component of a poem is rhythm. Rhythm is the heartbeat of a poem. It is what makes poetry poetry.