Sunday, June 12, 2016

Poetry Sunday

Over the Memorial Day weekend Agnes and I drove up to my hometown of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, to attend the high school graduation of my niece Elena and enjoy a modest family reunion. My sister and her family still live in Pittsburgh, one of my brothers lives not too far away, and we still have cousins in the 'burgh as well.

I have often remarked to Agnes that Pittsburgh seems a lot nicer place since I left, way back in 1973. The death of the steel industry was a mixed blessing, depressing the economy but allowing the city to be reborn and cleaned up as a center for medicine, banking, and high-tech. And as I get older, I find a lot more positive than negative memories about one of the worst cities in the world in which to drive.

But I digress.

In today's poem, Richard Newman talks about the bittersweetness of going home ...

by Richard Newman

I like my hometown more
the longer I'm away.
Memories, like trick candles,
flicker as I pull in.

The longer I've been away
the less I recognize. Stars
flicker as I pull in.
Where are the woods and fields?

I barely recognize the stars.
Home is where
my boyhood woods and fields
now offer beautiful new homes.

Home is where they said
Leave now so we might miss you someday.
The beautiful new homes say
We're better off since you left.

We might miss you someday
yes, that would be my wish.
Home is where they're better off since you left.
Blow into town and blow right out.

Yes, that would be my wish-
that I liked my hometown more.
Blow through town. Blow out
memories like trick candles.

Have a good day. Go home when you can, even if it's in your head.

See you tomorrow for Musical Monday. More thoughts then.



Gonzo Dave said...

Sometimes - *sometimes* - a situation will take you home (at least, in your mind). I have a blog post coming on this very subject.

eViL pOp TaRt said...

I like visiting home; but the city has changed. Utterly. Visits are enjoyable; but with a taste of bittersweetness. The Katrina flood changed it in so many ways.

Mike said...

In my case it's the 'street' where I grew up. There was is church three houses up the street. Those three houses are gone and are now a church parking lot. My old house, a two family flat, where we lived downstairs then upstairs, has been converted into a single family.

The house that was next to the church was owned by the quintessential little old lady that would keep our baseballs when they would land in her yard.

allenwoodhaven said...

Very interesting poem. Thanks for introducing it to me.