The Park

The NYC suburbs sometimes bleed across state line.
My town was an Accent spiced potato cube
in the Great Melting Pot.

Not as genteel as Fair Lawn,
we were mostly gentiles in the Park.
Not as flashy as Patterson,
our dads’ blue collared shirts
were crisp with pride,
some with “manager” written on the pocket.
At least most of them in our corner of the Park.

That corner might as well have been
the whole town to us.
We mostly stayed there.
Grandmothers and mothers knowing which kid went where.

Though I liked to walk down the Boulevard,
across the forest to the other side of the Park,
where the hues and cooking didn’t have that sazón.

I imagined all sorts of quests through those trees.
I was too scared to explore off the path,
but not too scared to walk to the library,
where I left the Park behind
long before I left for good three years later.

Song Choice: My Hometown by Bruce Springsteen
This poem was created from a prompt offered by Magaly Guerrero for NaPoWriMo (Day 15: Where you lived when you were 15)

20 comments:

  1. Sounds like a very loving place :D XXX

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    1. It was. The community was pretty tight knit.

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  2. There goes Rommy, walking away from the status quo towards other adventures in Philly. ;-p Good write.

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    1. Well spotted Elena. Forests suit me better than parks.

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  3. This was lovely, Rommy! A wonderful glimpse into the neighborhoods and wandering paths you knew. And, of course, the mention of the Sanctuary for our ilk..the Library. If I could find a library, I was always half way at home.

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    1. I remember the walk to it seemed like I was making some sort of epic voyage. That path is still very vivid in my mind.

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  4. Memories of your hometown took me back to mine......the library figured largely in my life - and my escape-from-life - as a child, too. Loved this.

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    1. I'm glad you enjoyed it. Thanks for stopping by!

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  5. I love that the speaker seems to be watching everything from afar. Outside the norm, but knowing how things work. Sitting in between what she wanted, what was expected, and what she was ready to do. Maybe her mind wanted to walk the forest, but the library was safe for now. The "corner" of the park... not quite for her.

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    1. I'll always have some affection for the corner I grew up on, but it wasn't quite the best fit for me. It was a sturdy nest to grow up in until I was ready to fly off on my own.

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  6. I recognize that girl going to the library.

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    1. We should really get membership jackets made

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    1. I have some very good memories of there

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  8. Quite magical, this was. I wish I could make my hometown at 15 sound that way. :)

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  9. This is absolutely lovely - it gives a sense of pride, happiness and longing to go back in time. Beautifully penned! Thank you so much for linking this poem with Prompt Nights :D


    Lots of love,
    Sanaa

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  10. Lovely! You've painted a vivid picture of your neighborhood. Yes, Grandmothers and Mothers always know which kid goes where! :)

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  11. It was the walk to the library that changed things for you...BOOKS! Very interesting poem ...well expressed...look forward to reading more !

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  12. I'm with Sherry. The library was my refuge. Reading still is.

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