My City…the one with Big Shoulders
The way the breeze always smells wet
even long after the snow has melted,
and the hot n’ humid summer days have finally arrived.
The way the houses are all crammed together in huddles,
yet, your neighbors are still strangers.
The way the streets fill with parades and festivals,
and fireworks bang loud above the streets.
We are free
It’s the 4th and butter drips from cobs.
The kids scream. They’re happy. So they laugh…
looking up at fireworks flashing above their heads.
Yes, there’s something about my city…
The way the raindrops smash into hot pavement in small pellets…
The way that thunder rumbles roughly in the distance,
inching closer. Eyes widen, a step to the left.
Gunshots pop like Garrett’s fresh corn.
Kids scream. They’re scared. So they run…
Red, white and blue lights flicker in the distance…
in the distance sirens ring loud.
In the distance mothers cry for their children.
But the streets are clear except for one…
“Another shot dead in Chicago” Fox News reports on tv…
In the evening rain, family and friends huddle close on the street corner,
their candle lights flickering with the passing lightning.
T-shirts wet with tears and soaked with dirty rain
tallies rising and children dying daily.
I hate my city. Yes, you! The one with the Big Shoulders,
the hog butcher, the tool maker and the stacker of wheat.
Come out, Chicago! I have something to say! So, listen!
You began butchering children and stacking their bodies.
And then you try to quantify these stolen lives in tallied numbers
like that is enough?! These are your children!
So, when they tell me that you’re wicked, Chicago,
I believe them…I don’t want to, but I have to.
This is what I see…I see your streets
hot with anger and steaming with sorrow,
as they suck the last gasp of life down their drains.
Chicago, they tell me you can’t cry, because you’re too proud,
but damn it, Chicago! Maybe it’s time.
Love elephant and want to go steady?
Apprentice Editor: Carrie Marzo / Editor: Renée Picard
Photo: John Harrison / Pixoto