Goose Hill Neighborhood

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You return home

once a familiar place
there neighbors
all knew your name…
You wave to a stranger
crossing the busy street
where the market lot
was once a stick ball lot
then, a small store, on
that busy street where
a neighbor lost her daughter
when a man slammed on
his breaks, too late;  now a
dollar store stands where
the market stood, and that
too locked its’ door.

A shoe store, gone, a barber
a drugstore where so many
ten cent comic books stared
at me while I counted to ten
for one dollar.  No more comics
like I read, and no more drug-
store – CVS is around the corner
but that one, isn’t open for
twenty-four hours, most people
moved out of old buildings or
buildings were simply torn down…

You return home
once a familiar place
where maple trees
stood, now cement
sidewalks lifted
by roots… roots?
Roots – when you
return home, are buried
and gone, only from
forgotten trees between
slabs of cement

You return home
once a familiar place
where doors were
unlocked, coffee on a
counter brewing, phones
ringing, children outside
playing, and you laughed

“If I knew you were com’in
I’d a baked a cake –“

If there wasn’t a cake a
slice of pie, a cup of coffee
would be fine…

Today I return home
needed to make
arrangements to
talk – to a friend left
around the corner, who
barely opened the door
until I said my name.

Today, no one
knew my name.
as I walked down
the sidewalk toward
home – everyone was
a stranger – no one
sat on their porch,
or had furniture scattered
around a backyard.

You return home
once a familiar place
where you walked
around the yard,
near the cellar door –
and there – something
to remember, that day
when Daddy handed us
a stick to carve our name
in cement, it was dated
1954…

Nancy Duci Denofio – @2011 all rights reserved

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