Amerigo Round

My America is not
Wall Street, but
The Walgreens down the street
Not amber waves of grain, but
A beer can in the sand
Not purple mountain majesties, but
Purple Rice and Lewis jerseys.

It is the raccoon house next door
And the neighbor who sings loud enough to upset the dogs.
It is too many zucchinis on our back porch
With a note that says, “I knocked, but no one answered.”

It is the creaking trampoline
Whose sound is more potent than the ice cream truck.
It is the old graffiti in the sidewalk
“Nixon” next to a pothole in the street.
It is the century-old newspapers we found in the wall
When we renovated.
It is the tremendously tall lady who collects walnuts
And the woman whose kids don’t know she smokes on the balcony
And blames it on her husband.
It is taking the shortcut through five backyards
And every kid does the same.

My America is small enough to matter
And too big to forget.


14 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. charlesmashburn
    Sep 11, 2012 @ 20:12:03

    Awesome! I think we’re from the same neighborhood!


  2. Mary
    Sep 11, 2012 @ 21:28:44

    Loved this! It is the small things that help make a neighborhood what it is. I loved all the details you shared that made the neighborhood come alive.


  3. brian miller
    Sep 11, 2012 @ 22:54:36

    oh man, that is tight…esp the closure….too small and too big…love the textures you brough of your america as well, not too much different than mine…


  4. John (@bookdreamer)
    Sep 12, 2012 @ 05:05:29

    Really held my interest and a powerful rebuff to chocolate box views of a country. Don’t think Queen and London to know my England


    • wordcoaster
      Sep 12, 2012 @ 13:51:13

      Thanks! “chocolate box views”–what a brilliant way to describe the pictures that most people have of a country. But a country can’t be expressed through a postcard. Your comment reminded me of Lady Sovereign’s song “My England”–a rebuttal of the tourist industry description of England. Her song fails to express the positives that can be glossed over in such assumptions, though. Would love to hear your take on your England. 🙂


  5. Kiana@NakedSoulPoet
    Sep 12, 2012 @ 09:27:21

    Sorry I left all those zucchinis!? LOL
    Wonderful imagery of every neighborhood!!!


  6. Pengyou
    Sep 12, 2012 @ 09:41:34

    LOVE this. Won’t you be my neighbor?


  7. gautami tripathy
    Sep 12, 2012 @ 12:18:56


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