Wednesday, July 25, 2012


This morning I was writing in my morning pages about my times with Ruby, and I suddenly flashed on a memory from my early childhood in Baltimore, going with my grandmother (my father's mom who lived with us) on the bus downtown.  Here's the resulting poem:


Wearing patent leather shoes
            and white gloves,
Going on the bus downtown
            with my grandmother.
Riding the escalators in
            the big department stores.
Eating lunch in Hutzler’s basement,
            chicken chow mein, or shrimp salad on toasted cheese bread.
Visiting my cousins’ grandpa Harry’s shoe store,
             next to Mr. Peanut
Nodding and waving in the window,
            the smell of peanuts and oil filling the street.

Sometimes we would go to
            the big library, the one with
The science museum on
            the top floor.
Always, we would go through Lexington Market
            on the way back to the bus,
Stopping to buy paper cones brimming with
            buttermilk, creamy and tart.

Almost 60 years ago now,
            she, 40 years gone, me 50 years gone from Baltimore.
That downtown probably long gone, too,
            but alive in my memory,
Even down to the smells of
            department store perfume and exhaust fumes on the street.

I wonder what memories
            my granddaughter will carry
Of times spent
            with me.

1 comment:

  1. Patten leather shoes and white gloves.... I remember those days with my own grandmother. Ah-mommy showed me the world through her loving deep brown eyes.