Thursday, December 11, 2008
What if cities could get up and walk away?
Would Los Angeles get up and walk away
from all the stars, wannabes, hangers-on, drones
and everyone else who calls that city home?
I wonder if Chicago has had enough
of business commuters on buses and trains,
of travelers and tourists off the constant planes?
If Chicago could walk, would Chicago leave?
We had a light snow a couple of nights back.
In the morning I walked for a newspaper.
I found a lot of tracks all around my house.
I used to think tracks like that were from wild life.
I used to think of stray cats, rabbits, raccoons.
But maybe the tracks were made by real wild life.
Maybe cities of the world have been snooping
outside my house at night, trying to peek in,
trying to figure out what I like and don’t,
betting among themselves which city I’d choose
if I could get up, if I could walk away.
When I do someday get up and walk away
I hope the city of my dreams is still there.
I hope it hasn’t gotten tired of waiting.
I hope it hasn’t gone for a walk, taking
its museums and sidewalk cafes with it.
I read the final draft of this piece out loud.
If cities are outside listening, it’s a clue!