Memories washed clean, hung out to dry,
assume the scents of urban loneliness or Carolina Jasmine.
That summer in the Bronx—the smell of hardwood wax,
humidity and sweat. Of poverty.
Boys cut loose, and girls, to play in fire hydrant bliss.
Mid-60’s turmoil, caged animals at the Zoo.
The smell of fear then siren blasts impinging on
monastic silence. Raucous demonstrations,
steaming asphalt immolating sacrificial offerings.
The smell of blood poured out, torn children’s flesh,
In spring, gunpowder from an assassin’s deadly fire
cut short that dream and yet it still unfolds,
aromatic memories washed clean, hung out to dry,
our dirty laundry—reminding us.
Linked to dVerse Open Link Night. Stop by and bring a poem, or just browse. We’re open on Tuesday, 3PM EST!
Process Note: During the Children’s March for Civil Rights in Birmingham, Alabama, racial hatred hit a climax when the mayor ordered the police to set loose police dogs and the fire department to spray the children with fire hoses, full blast. Images captured by the media heightened the country, including President Kennedy, to the horrors of segregation. (In contrast, in the Bronx heat, poor children released fire hydrants and played in the spray. I was there at the time.)