I love my city, the city of Philadelphia
I grew up outside your limits, near you in the ‘burbs
amazed by your skyscrapers, watching from
grandma’s steps in the shadow of St. Monica’s –
you aren’t always pretty, but you’re a city
with pride and spunk, attitude and funk,
the engine of our region with a legion of fans –
behind the cheesesteaks and Rocky Balboa,
we know how much heart you have and
even if we speak rough and act tough,
underneath this grime and slime,
you have a whole lotta love inside.
(Photo of a mural in Philly from the Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance)
Garbage piles up on street corners, you can smell it
everywhere you go – a trash crisis, another effect
of the pandemic, giving the town an apocalyptic feel
as we deal with a failing economy, killer virus,
foreboding sense that we’re plunging into an abyss –
but excuse me, miss, we’re resilient, us humans,
even if rubbish surrounds us and the president astounds us,
we find a way to keep the faith.
(Photo by chris liu on Unsplash)
Poor little Nico, he’s a silly dog.
He scratches himself all day,
howls whenever we go away –
I see him after I’ve been gone,
he wags his tail, greets me at the door, asks,
“Where have you been?”
Heavy boxes stacked in the bedroom,
you’re moving again, amid the pandemic.
We’ll see another part of Philly, add to
the memories we’ve made – even if we’ll
be wearing masks and hunkering down.
We’ll find a new coffee shop, we’ll walk new
streets, taking pictures every so often
that’ll be in a book next year that celebrates
our time together.
(Photo by Josh Hild on Unsplash)
Sometimes I think of our love
as though it’s an old Southern backroad
You’re in the driver’s seat
my feet are on the dash
The roads are curvy and dictate our speed
sometimes we take them slow, sometimes fast
At times they’re the straightest path
with fields of corn on either side
There are moments of fear
but also moments of pure joy
Those old Southern backroads
can go on forever, with no end in sight
Many times you ride those roads
with your most trusted companion
Those Southern backroads are an adventure like none other
and it’s only you I want by my side.
Most of our country has been in some form of quarantine or social distancing for about three and a half months. I was sent home from work on March 5 because I had a sneeze. Fear was already high in the Philadelphia area. Those first eight days, I had some freedom – I still went to teach at religious school the following Sunday and Wednesday in New Jersey. I had no idea that a few days later, my entire office would be sent home, and our state would put in place a stay-at-home order.
For Rachel Forth
The summer days are long and there’s still light outside
when we roll the dough and dance in the kitchen while
making stromboli – you lead the way, but teach me too –
you make it like it’s second-nature to you, a true cook,
and I’m your student – all I can make is scrambled eggs.
There are many ways to dissect and analyze a novel like The Wind–Up Bird Chronicle by Haruki Murakami. The original Japanese version of the book was released in three parts, and the English translation that I read was just over 600 pages. The novel is packed with different thematic elements and symbols, and it’s easy to get lost in the tangled web that Murakami spins.
Have you ever loved someone so much that a part of you feels missing when you are away from them? It’s not a co-dependency matter, but like you’re missing something without them?
As a child, at least as a child growing up heavily in church as I did, you are taught to memorize verse after verse. I remember most of the verses, even if it’s not word-for-word and the exact location. I can hold my own in an intellectual, biblical conversation. Its one of the things I’m most proud of about myself.