Song for the City by Laura McNaughton
Who writes poetry for the city?
Odes to cracked pavement and dirty pigeons;
Sonnets for her screaming sirens and neon signs.
Who writes for her long lines of traffic piled up on the freeway?
Who sings for her first buildings before they fall?
Where are the ballads of her transit system?
Lyrics for the children in her rough and ready playgrounds;
Verse for her skyscrapers and sewers.
I have always lived in cities;
Sung to sleep by the lullaby of passing cars.
My playgrounds her alleyways and school yards.
I learned to skate on a community rink.
Spent summers running amok on boulevards and down dirty alleys.
I rescued treasures from dumpsters:
flowers; Playboy magazines; a pair of shoes.
A block away from the confectionery.
A walk to the library.
A bus ride to the record shop.
I have never lived farther than four feet from my neighbour;
Have always known the beauty of traffic’s dance;
Have always loved the adventure of an unfamiliar street.
I sing the song of the city.
Her energy runs through me:
The electric current that pumps my heart and fires my mind.
Song for the City by Laura McNaughton is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.