Sonnet of a City Once Known
by Reed Farrel Coleman
Have you not seen the city I once knew
buried beneath years of silent defect,
impatient rust and angry shades of blue?
History’s hidden beneath its neglect.
The endless sewer to sewer stickball games,
crumbling cement, steps worn smooth as slate,
summer Tuesdays, boardwalk firework flames,
my father coming home (always too late).
Soft blacktop leaps to meet a kid’s sneaker
rounding first, but dreaming of home at last.
Old tar just hardens, the streets grow bleaker
and bright futures are leveled by the past.
On fall days as shedding trees turn to stone,
my shadows visit this city once known.