Saturday, November 20, 2010


When I drive down Highway 77
to my old hometown
I usually dwell on how
it all went wrong
for the city and my family too.
But I still make the trip to see
empty houses, shut down factories
boarded up stores on Laurel Street.

This time, I rehearse conversations
in my head hoping to see someone I know
or who may vaguely remember me.
I’ll say, “Hey, how’s it going?
“It’s been a while” or
“Glad to see you’re doing fine.”

I’ll drive by Quarter Mile Lane School,
and walk through the kick ball fields.
I go past the projects where I lived,
Big John’s Pizza, Weber’s Candy Store,
a friend’s family home on East Avenue,
and park by the edge of Sunset Lake.

I’ll drive past my grandparent’s house and
stand by a big maple I used to climb out front.
I want to see that someone’s painted it and
that the grape hyacinths and daffodils still bloom.
I want to see the new people hanging their sheets
on the line and piling Autumn leaves by the curb.

I'll eat an Italian sub and go to the custard stand.
I’ll drink a free cup of apple cider from Sunny Slope.
I want to smell the fireplaces in the dead of winter
and the ketchup factory in the dog days of summer.
I want to feel it wasn’t so bad or I need to know
something went right during that time, in this place.

1 comment:

Linda S. Socha said...

Amen....and so it did...go you are being who you are in the finest sense.