My Father’s City

My Father’s City

Reminiscing about growing up
in the west end of the city,

he never took me there. Cables
of streetcar avenues sparked

as whales on tracks passed by
and made each building shudder,

There on a rainy night, lights
reflecting on the sidewalks,

and the stores that once led
different lives, a theatre

where he spent afternoons
rooting for cowboy heroes

as he stared at a flickering
in the dark like dying star –

no one foretold the changes,
the reel ending, the aging

out of players, their parts
scripted out until they served

their purpose and vanished –
no one from his era lives now.

No one can tell me the truth
of boulevards where well-to-do

houses broke down in pain
as life reached for its height

merely by being lived.
My steps retrace nothing

but the paths of glories
that pass from the world

where every glance over
my shoulder reminds me

how unwilling Time can be
to loosen its grip on secrets,

the minutiae of day to day
that always gets left behind

the way I left him the night
before he died, too weak

to walk me to the elevator,
to despairing to carry

the past another step ahead.
I waited for the lift to arrive

but it took years to come
and even then only headed

down where it began again
the slow ascent to its end.

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on email
Share on pinterest

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top