Cities–once all smeared with grime,
rich but dirty, full of crime–
clear the excess cars and dust
if their governments are just,
house the homeless, and among
their cares: clean water, healthy young.
Gorgeous buildings grow and twist
through a river’s gentle mist;
trees in leaf for urban hikes:
sculptures, cafes, books and bikes…
children run wild in the park
till theatre signs light up the dark;
music spills from bars at night–
the well-run city’s a delight.
This poem was published (in 2021 or 2022, the Bahamas Post Office seems to have lost my copy so I’m not sure yet) in The Lyric Magazine, Jean Mellichamp calling it “a breath of fresh air”. I wrote it to be an upbeat view of the modern world in contrast to a lot of the more worrying future issues that I’m often concerned with; and when I put together the ‘City! Oh City!’ Potcake Chapbook, I included the poem to balance some of the less rosy views of urban life–though my poem is nowhere near as skilled as the pieces in the chapbook by Maryann Corbett, Amit Majmudar and others.
Photo: “le quai river cafe on seine” by grahamdale74 is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0.