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Wednesday, April 24, 2013

I AM THE NEIGHBORHOOD


I am chain link fences, above ground pools, metal sheds from Sears.
I’m the place where homes don’t have garages or wide driveways
and where cars cut through to avoid the traffic out on Route 18.
You’ll see for sale signs on many lawns for well over a year.
It’s a buyer’s market, but no one want to buy these. They came here
decades ago from Newark and Jersey City, now they want to leave.

I am the neighborhood that used to be called Circle Manor.

I’m where the magnolias grow and drop their blossoms too soon.
I’m where squirrels build nests in mighty oaks and gorge on acorns.
I’m a place where cats climb into yards and make themselves at home.
I’m where Statues of the Virgin Mary sit alongside Slomin’s Sheilds,
and where you find Smiley’s Laundromat next to the Halal Meat Shop.
In the cold winter air, smells from Hong Kong Express travel quickly.
At night the neighbors drag their green robo-trash cans to the street.
and sometimes you hear a train whistles up by Bordentown Avenue.

I am the neighborhood that used to be called Circle Manor.

I am the old forgotten neighborhood in this suburban town.
Others are having curbs and sidewalks replaced, I never had them.
In the center of it all is Jersey Pride, a place where middle aged men
line up nightly with cash and a quarter to begin scratching off cards
labeled Double Down, Big Money, Diamond Spectacular, Win for Life.
Either you stay here a few years or you’ll never leave, is what they say.

I am the neighborhood that used to be called Circle Manor.







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