Chester St.

June 25, 1991|By Roberta Gale

sidewalks

crack above wooden veins

of my city's only shade

rootbound like the rest

it didn't plan to grow so thick

in one place

twisting and binding

over and around itself again

like some mutant strand of DNA

eating at the concrete

beneath my traveling shoes

is a seeker of light and space

mistake of birth or

twisted transplant

it can only move

by doubling up in pain

but even that's better

than no movement at all

sidewalks

bear the concrete footprints

of my city's only people

earthbound like the rest

they didn't plan to grow so old

in one place

crying and laughing

marking every year

by births, deaths and holidays

renting out their spirits

grabbing a temporary reprieve

buying little miracles

wearing a groove

in paper hearts

stepping so lightly

but so frequently

above wooden veins

of my city's only shade

Roberta Gale is a talk-show host on WCBM.

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