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Monday, September 21, 2009

Monday Poetry: My Hometown

My Hometown
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White concrete sidewalk
leading to friends' houses
Hard white sky
over the long, long summer, the ocean glittering to the west
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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
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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.
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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.

11 comments:

Barry said...

Beautiful poem Nancy. I loved the header photo as well. Très dramatique!

I don't expect life to be static, but it would be nice if change was improvement.

mrsnesbitt said...

We do change and move on, some change but dont move on, some move on and dont change..deep! Loved it, my first week!

Reya Mellicker said...

The banner is fabulous, so autumnal. And the poem is beautiful. There's something so unnerving about the growth and change in one's hometown. I wonder what that's about.

Happy equinox, NanU!

Totalfeckineejit said...

A beautiful portrait of your hometown, a pearl made of gritty observation and so foreign to me I found it fascinating.I don't think I have ever heard of a 'Hard white Sky before'-brilliant.And I loved the idea of nature fighting back against the pavement slabs.Bits reminded me of one of my favourite songs 'Spancill Hill'.... 'The old one's were all dead and gone ,the young one's turning grey' Different cinemas same movies.Loved it. Thanks NanU.

Niamh B said...

Really liked all the transition in this, the constant movement and change everywhere you looked, nice one.

Jeanne Iris said...

Je regret, mais j'ai etudie le Francaise plus d'ans ago. Je reconnaissai seulemente un peu. Anyway, I get the feeling you are describing southern California here with that 'white sky' and the cement sidewalks near the beach. Montgomery Field was a hint, too, unless it's Alabama.(?) Bonne poeme du change. Merci beaucoup.

NanU said...

Got me, Jeanne Iris - I'm a San Diego girl (living in France for the past 14 years!)

Titus said...

NanU, this is a very evocative piece of writing that moves so effortlessly through time with the deftest of touches. Like TFE I was also captured by the foreigness of it. Lovely read.

the watercats said...

"The back door faces the country
the cat-eating chaparral"... really like something about these lines :-) The whole poem was a really nice, slightly melancholy trip.. lovely stuff, cheers!

Dominic Rivron said...

Good one. Particularly liked the way the third stanza flowed along.

Karen said...

You have wonderful imagery in this very visual piece. You are so right, we have all moved on - sometimes to our (the earth's) detriment. Do you know the song that goes "They paved paradise and put up a parking lot"?