White concrete sidewalk
leading to friends' houses
Hard white sky
over the long, long summer, the ocean glittering to the west
The front door faces the city
school, duties, paper routes
Safeway and Thrifty at the rundown strip mall
where a triple scoop ice cream cost a quarter
but the grey-haired woman behind the counter would get mad at your caprice if you wanted your orange sherbet between the two scoops of chocolate
The back door faces the country
the cat-eating chaparral
the jets from Miramar and the little biplanes from Montgomery Field
The country became little league fields
but my city-hound dog could still flush rabbits of an afternoon
The little league fields became a police substation
as the sidewalks slowly broke up under the force of tree roots.
and the houses full of young families became filled with grey-haired folk who'd lived there thirty years
and Thrifty stopped selling ice cream in cones.
It isn’t the same hometown today
But it shouldn’t be the same
Just as I shouldn’t be the same
We have both moved on.
6 hours ago