|Oct/Nov 2017 Poetry|
Image excerpted from Reminiscing by Roe LiBretto
The last time I passed this way
my mother had smiled
and asked about the old neighborhood,
and I, wanting to please her,
dropped off the highway
and circled the streets of my childhood.
Today, as I turn off the parkway,
I am her age and alone.
The red-brick tenements,
that seemed to have sprouted
from these streets, have long
given way to monoliths
of poured concrete
warehouses for the poor.
And although the buildings
and the street names have changed,
this place will never be one that
people might aspire to live in.
Yet, I was mostly happy here,
sweating out my summer
days in that schoolyard.
I do not remember when we changed.
As I swing back on the highway,
the streetlights ease on and the shadows,
destined to envelope this timeless place,
do, for one last time, gently fade.
And although the sun
may pause and retrace its steps across the sky,
I will not return to Brooklyn.