Free verse on being from Chicago
This city of broad shoulders boils within me.
I am dipped in the ink of it, but instead of leaching into me from the outside, it radiates out from deep within.
It is part of me.
Inside me like a fetus, it is the return "ping" on my cosmic sonar that locks me into place and defines me.
With its poor south-side neighborhoods, its the melody in the most basic of American tunes.
With its pushy pot-bellied old men who drink weekend nights in neighborhood bars and rail against childhood friends standing defiantly belly to belly mouthing beer-slurred words and, who, just as quickly, make peace and stand sheepishly--vastly apologetic for every hurtful word--they are a celebration of life.
Their ancient wives, also, with their innocent, almost oddly girlish faces wearing their wildly colored scarves drawn tight over rollers and pin-curls, smelling of kraut, and wearing Revlon lipstick from the Kresgie's Five and Dime.
It's red--always red. And they nod cheerfully and say, "Dzie? dobry" when they see me in the morning and "Dobranoc" when they wish me good night.
Together, they are my beginning, middle, and end points - their lives are my life, and together we are what it means to be from Chicago.