Fall 2016 (Volume 20, Issue II): 20th Anniversary Issue




Even machinery rusted inside the Hudson
plant on Beaufait made a difference
at one time. So did tannery hides still lacing
the air with rot, a brick’s throw from the pungent
splendors of Eastern Market. Even dirty snow
that kept its furtive white into April, sunlit
through upper floor windows of Fisher Body.
Today, sparrows and starlings wear their warning
songs out, thieving each other’s nests below the dark
flare of crows that thread the warming wind,
sky free of storms and their portents.
So nothing keeps you from a long walk back
through the city, a turn up Michigan to let your mind
make what it will of Cobb’s or Greenberg’s ghosts
on ground Tiger Stadium was razed like Dresden.
In your memory’s inner miles, the past
is a birthright of sandlots — bases of stone
or plywood, home plate a triangle scraped in dust,
mock-fields bordering brick warehouses
and factories Hopper could’ve painted —
all those women, solitary behind windows
fronting frantic fielders and runners, their late
afternoon shadows nearly reaching the ledges.

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