Let’s go to main street. It’s in one of those mid-south cities, small, but growing, where they clean up the little streets at night with old trucks that still have rotating brushes on the back, and the sidewalks and old storefronts are being renovated. Art deco columns and old brickwork jut our between large square windows and new clean stucco surfaces, both decorated with local college mascots.
You might think this place alumni oriented, and to hear the news, you could hardly think otherwise, but many of the stores are now owned by liberal minded people, the young, artists, and a yoga instructor or two. Cafe’s now dot each intersection, and you can hear independent label records playing proudly from inside. Liquor licenses, hard won, hang jauntily on walls behind bars that hadn’t existed here since the early 50’s. And at the very beginning of this stretch of newness mixed with the old, is a place for artists to meet, even poets, like me.
We can walk the back alleys here, without any fear, and if we pass behind that artist’s shop, we would see the most fascinating window, fractalated, almost cracked, like pale blue ink, spilled then frozen in time. Well, it used to be there, that window. They replaced it now. I got a picture of it. I’ve posted it for you at the top of the page.
If we go down the side streets, from main street, we’ll find yard after yard, filled with flowers and blooming vines. No other city has looked as beautiful as this one, in the spring, in the summer, or the fall. Rain or shine, the town always surprised one. It still does.
We walk down a sidewalk, toward a house I used to live in, and my roses still bloom there. I call them granny roses, but I don’t know their real name. We dug them up at the last place we lived, and soon, I will sneak into this yard, and dig some up, and take them with me to my new place.
I wanted to show you the town I lived in for 20 years, but it would take more than one walk. Amazing people live there. I was blessed.
Ah, the sun is set, and near by, the yellow street light glows brilliantly through the sycamore leaves, making them look like they are composed of golden magic instead of sweet, aromatic sap and chlorophyll. I have stared under this tree, at night, looking up at those leaves, many times. And I never tired of it.
Down the road, there’s a cute wooden fence, and a lattice with a black mail box on top, the thickest, biggest, most velvety, purple clementines grow up and wrap their vines around it. In the dark, they look like they are a bower over a door to a fairy land.
My mind is restful, and I want to take you back home. We can get in the car, and watch the houses and yards go by, shrouded in shadows and lit in yellow circles from the street lights. If we roll the window down, we’ll hear the many songs of the many tree frogs, clinging with little sticky fingers, in the thick canopy of tree limbs that arch overhead. The air is clean, cool, and easy to breathe….