The Old Hometown

I'm cursing Heraclitus. I've come back,
But not to where I'd been. Downtown
Is filled with soaring buildings occupying
Lots which had been hardware stores
And auto dealers. Streets which had
Seemed much too large have narrowed.
Now they're clogged with cars. The locals,
Once all affluent and white, and loath
To place their buttocks onto public transport
Seats, are darker these days, poorer, more
Inclined to let the city ferry them to jobs
In stores in malls the old rich whites
Who have remained prefer to patronize.
Almost lost, I spy a building, boarded up,
An ice cream shop which all of us, as kids,
Had hoped to have our parents let us
Celebrate our birthdays. Marching bands,
Prodigious dishes, waiters singing;
What remains are soaped-up windows,
Shadows of a logo on the shitty stucco
Walls without. I went there six or seven
Times, and bounced and got excited,
But, in fact, I never liked the place,
And couldn't wait to leave this city.
I'm not happy to be back. The river,
Heraclitus said, can never be the one
You saw. His observation's accurate,
I think, as I get on the bus which will,
Once it's dispensed the servants,
Take me to the airport and away.

Poetry by Lawrence Beck The PoetBay support member heart!
Read 26 times
Written on 2021-03-26 at 10:32

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josephus The PoetBay support member heart!
A great riff on “you can never go home again” like you I’ve tried without success. You’ve described it much more clearly and emotively than I could. Bravo, Larry a powerful insight deftly written.