If you see a whole thing - it seems that it's always beautiful. Planets, lives... But up close a world's all dirt and rocks. And day to day, life's a hard job, you get tired, you lose the pattern. - Ursula K. LeGuin

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Posted with Permission from the Author

Trek Back to 187th


That day in middle school a bully

joked about airplanes hitting buildings.

I couldn’t believe

When we sat spaced out in homeroom,

Staring at the fluorescent lights

And clock, towering over the intercom.

My name was called and father appeared

Standing outside the sunlit streets of New York.

He took my hand and pointed to

The steel smoking across the sky.

He said, this is the sight I never want you to see.

The sight of war.

We walked the streets of the city that never sleeps

And witnessed its bi-polar depression.


A women in a red dress, face wrinkled from tears,

Broken in the middle

Of the intersection. Like

A car accident, She collided with

Pavement and waited for help.


A man wedged his car door

Open blasting victims with news updates.

A couple stopped with us and

Stood around. Grim faced, crossed arms

We knew,

There was nothing we could do.


We joined a crowd.

And waited for a bus on 63rd and Lex.

Taxi’s sped past like angry

Yellow-jackets. One stopped

And a black man was first to reach it.

The driver argued against the man

And my father cried for justice

As it flew off.


That day I was afraid of sticks and stones

And towering buildings falling down on me.


-Angel, 2009


5 comments:

MFA Mama said...

The boy can write! How exciting! Seriously, good stuff.

leaningtowardthesun said...

this is excellent. of all the imagery, the last 2 lines strike hardest.

Julie said...

I agree with leaningtowardthesun. Those last two lines are awesome.

Yes, the entire piece is very powerful. It hits me in the soul and does everything a poem should do. The city's "bi-polar depression" is another striking line. There are so many. And the voice is fantastic.

I also like how it is from a young person's point of view. A "coming of age" of sorts. Excellent and powerful words.

Annie said...

Hi Brigindo,

Like Julie says, the whole poem is powerful. I was also struck by the line, bi-polar depression. My favorite stanza, aside from the opening, is the second stanza:

"A woman in a red dress, face wrinkled from tears, Broken in the middle..." "She collided with pavement..."

I like the way Angel is breaking up the lines, giving them multiple meanings, and giving the speaker of the poem, a unique voice.

And, of course, the final two lines are from the point of view of a young person, and from us all, drawing on our childhoods, evoking feelings of helplessness, and giving the words universality.

Wonderful work!

Drax said...

Good stuff. Well done, Angel.