The City Limits: An Essay

The city limits.

It does.

It puts locked doors

between me

and my neighbour,

barriers of fear

and annoyance,

of stolid unconversation

between me and the fellow

riding the bus with me.

It puts suspicion

between me and the youth

walking behind me

on the nightlit street.

It puts anger

between me

and the woman who shouts

at her kids, who blares

her radio.

It puts sharp silent warnings

around certain blocks:


at your peril.


But the town

where I live now

is Paradiso

after decades

of Purgatorio.

There is commerce

between me and the folks

next door.

There is conversation

between me and the random


There is brightness

guiding me home,

especially at night.

There is civility

and courtesy.

Sometimes the music

gets loud,

but it is the dance

of celebration

and not the battering-ram

of aggression.

It is hospitable

to all manner of folk,

the bearded chap

who wears hoop earrings

and a summer dress

to Unitarian services,

the lesbian couple

who sell knickknacks

from a Mass. Ave. storefront,

the Asian elder,

the trans youth,

the African-American police officer,

the tall blond priest.

Here we have community,

here we are community.

Poetry by Thomas DeFreitas The PoetBay support member heart!
Read 147 times
Written on 2019-02-06 at 12:36

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Short, sharp lines. This is powerful writing.

one trick pony The PoetBay support member heart!
This is engaging, so many images to contemplate. The evolution of your community is heartening.

Lawrence Beck The PoetBay support member heart!
A fine poem. Dynamite opening.

josephus The PoetBay support member heart!
Bravo! For content, theme and format! Amazing to see a city rise from darkness to light. You’re fortunate to be a part of that.