Poem: “The Detroit Water Crisis”

Who would be considered the nicest,

After shutting off people’s water

causing a crisis?

Using the devices of power

Hour after hour

To sour the living conditions

of so many.

Three thousand households a week

are facing shutoffs. Can you imagine

how much those bills cost?!

Babies need water.

Children need water.

Youth need water.

Adults need water.

But it’s money over people.

This is a Human Rights issue.

This is a Right to Water issue.

And if this continues imagine

how many lives will be affected.

I’ve heard that gentrification is

connected to these shutoffs.

So it’s about money and land.

Resources changing from hand

to hand. An American pastime

That many poor and people of

color can understand.

Water is in demand.

But shutting it off in

Detroit is their plan.

© Christopher D. Sims

July 8, 2014

Reprinted with permission from the author.

Photo: Mary Ellen Kavanaugh, and her children Abby, second from left, Grace and Owen, right, of Windsor, help carry water jugs to St. Peter’s Episcopal Church in Detroit, July 24, for a water station being set up to help Detroit residents who need water. A small group of Canadians brought 1,000 liters (264 gallons) of water from Windsor, Ontario, to Detroit to protest thousands of residential service shutoffs by Detroit’s water department. (AP)


Christopher D. Sims
Christopher D. Sims

Christopher D. Sims is an internationally known poet, activist, and spoken word performer. His writing has helped in causes that speak for justice and equality. Amnesty International published a poem by him in defense of the late Troy Davis. His forthcoming book of poetry is entitled "Universal Citizen."