Friday, August 21, 2015



I still see them
in their chairs
on the sidewalk
No one minds.
In casual summer clothes,
they unfurl
the state of the city,
the country, the planet
but always return
to the Bronx.

Mrs. Resnick's son
moved to Florida.
Something with medical law.
The Anastasios' daughter
went, of all places,
to Utah.
"Is that still in the USA?"
one of the ladies jokes.

The Zoo now costs
ten dollars.
Once it was free.
Most of them
save with care.
There's a bargain
at Olinsky's:
chicken for 70 cents
a pound.

The massive stonework
near the building
somehow protects them,
even though
they're outside it.
Down through years,
their New York voices
rise in a circle
of raucous, happy sound.

Like a talisman
wrought from words,
not Commandments,
they keep me
even now
from a void
worse than harm.

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