Sunday, October 24, 2010


We drove from our city apartment along roads with white rocks.
I watched children with jeans clean and pressed,
creases as sharp as the tongues of the nannies that called them in from the heat.
Parents too bored to notice, sat in their White wicker chairs, unaffected.
Catalog families, like L.L.Bean or Talbot's...
Families that looked like a painting, a story of Americana and the good life.
Armies of men who spoke little, if any, English,
groomed front yards bigger than my neighborhood playground.
I was fascinated by a world I'd never seen.
We would get hot dogs or heroes and eat them in the car as we drove...
the scent of french fries mixing with the freshly mowed lawns in a Summer cologne carried on the wind.
Clean, and bright and beautiful and open air.
Different from what I'd known...
Dirty concrete and a closed in city...and so much Grey.
The stench of car exhaust and tar,
City workers fixing yet another hole on my street.
My back porch was my only yard,
the railing rotted with those nails sticking up; ripping my hand open as I ran up the back steps.
This drive, a special trip we would take a few times each summer.
The park with the beach,
and the huge rocks where waves crashed over them like a movie in slow-motion.
Pebbles and tiny seashells underfoot as we walked along the shore,
making sounds like the crisp crunching of broken glass.
The air clean like the smell of a tide far away from another place I've never been.
A bridge in the forest that crossed over a pond, a secret place...
where my brother and I would go catch frogs.
Fireflies dancing at twilight,
to be caught in our tiny hands,
sand under our fingertips and dirt on our faces,
we'd peek inside our clenched fists,
at a bit of wonder and a glimpse of magic,
soon to be released into the Summer night,
to rejoin the mystery of childhood and dance of dragonflies amidst the dusk.
A blurry vision of a woman, with a younger face.
Hair of chestnut, and dress, chiffon...
a Monet watercolor of blossoms that ran in the rain.
The scent of Gardenia's and a mother's love,
a soft perfume carried on a breeze to be remembered only in memory and my moments of madness.
"Evanston" published in the Spring 2008 issue of Black Oak Presents/ Black Oak Media

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