The First City

Sometimes when the sun hits the skyscrapers in a certain hue of gold
My mind reminds me of a time when I lived in my first city.
I traveled the tracks left in dirt from mamas car
Stopping my bike at potholes, in wait for my own green light to say “go”
And the rain did not keep me from traveling uncharted streets
Even when the puddles shook so big the leaves stopped floating.

Into the woods I ventured when the pellets dropped down too fat
Blanketed by the courtesy of Sequoia trees.
The wind howled like flutes through swaying branches
And it was here among the ferns that I perfected my dance.

The long tree roots made staircases
To businesses made of hollowed trunks and stick piles.
The caterpillars were rounded up to learn like school children
While the busy sparrows flitted around like busy executives, hard at work
And newts lazed about on the wet ground, delighted with it all.
I will never leave home, I thought then
Sammie, my red retriever, was the perfect police officer to watch over us all.

At least until mama’s call for supper could be heard.
Witchery must have kept my clothing dry
As I sprinted back over the worn mud trail in my bare feet
Until I reached my bike in the clearing near grandfather’s automobile shop.

If I close my eyes, I can imagine that these grey bricks
Are actually columns of sappy cascara trees
Like the kind that lined the edge of the woods where I first laid roots
In that first city.



©2019 M.J. Hambly, All Rights Reserved

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