Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Donal Mahoney- A Poem

Shoppers in Melee 

State and Madison, Chicago. 
Saturday, high noon.
Shoppers in melee.

Surrounded, I give up.
Against the curb, I see
suddenly the sea foam up

and in the distance
white birds soar and glide,
black apostrophes

cleaver split
but still tangential,
rising, falling.

Then the stoplight
flashes green and I
prepare to sally off

till I look down
and see against
the curb the great

white waters bowl
as one by one people
drop and drown.

Donal Mahoney remembers in this poem the first time he took the bus downtown from his little neighborhood on the South Side of Chicago. He wanted to see the sights at Christmas time. At 14, he was simply overwhelmed by the crowds amassed on all four corners of State and Madison, an intersection he still sees quite frequently, many decades later, if only in his mind. St. Louis, home of the world champion baseball Cardinals, and his home now, is a nice city but it has no intersection quite like State and Madison in Chicago any day of the year.

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