Mulberry and Mott

You ask me why I want to stop here but I didn’t say
because that truck is dropping a load of steel through
a graffitied plywood door and that’s the sound of a city
turning corners. Didn’t say because this bench shines
with a hundred coats of black gloss and it’s one block
from the noodle stand where we sat and I ate but you
didn’t. Because the park where afterward we walk
smells like reefer and I say so, annoying you enough
that you decide it’s time to get on the train. Your blonde
head moving into the subway entrance thrills and stings.
Red bricks under the cut stones and green city park
signs and trees and handball courts -all make a whole
other music around us. Still, you disappear. The bench
buys me breath to think about the oranges we passed,
their grace and knobby, extra skin. Further on a stranger,
bigger, thorny fruit is getting sliced up on the street
before my eyes. Because you booked studio time out
on the G and when I call, you walk back up the steps,
thinking I have a problem. Relieved, you reply, “No,
I will not take a photograph. Mom, look at me, look
me in the eye. You need to focus. You really, really
need to focus.” Grand and Delancey and Essex and
Chrystie are pulsing; half-filled stone benches flank
men playing ball. I’d like to sit and think about that
audience while I’m near them. The pastry shops
have jacked their prices and udon costs under seven
dollars nearby. The truck with its belly of intentions is
gone and the boy is. I know some of the trains that
will carry you under and over and around this city.
Because you move and breathe here and I’d like
to rest before I, too, go, having walked beside
your height, your drive, your music and rhythms.

–Mia Hansford (2017)


Poetry

5 thoughts on “Mulberry and Mott

  1. Wow beautiful, and I was just there, a week ago thinking how much has changed and how much has remained -beautiful Mia, thank you.

  2. Beautiful. it’s got the rhythm of music, of trains, of the city, of life, of that which connects people to one another in so many different ways.

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