Tuesday, March 01, 2016

Oh, Washington

[memories of the Washington D.C. area: 1982-1993]

I saw the city in its monumental snow
a white city made seamlessly of moonlight; glowing
even while it was terrible.

it was terrible to know that
in this snowiness reposed a vast
indifference despite the cherry blossoming,

flutter of frail leaves in the spring,
the petals raining down on us.
it was a sad moment and no monument

at all recalling the blind man
on Connecticut Avenue
sensing raindrops plop inside his styrofoam cup and

thinking it was someone's spare change

and he said thank you and passersby laughed
though they were of the same colour
stylish in their career wear.

I remember the small offices I worked in

far larger than my apartments.
and quieter.
and people under every bridge,

stretched over every steaming manhole
through the whole of winter.

though tourists come in the spring;
though your monuments shine as if
they held candlelight within their marbled

porticos, I know I know this city is not
what it seems though I love overmuch its
little bookshop-cafes, its ballets

it's lavish displays at Christmas
it's infinite street fairs and
its gourmet picnics on the public grass

when viewed from space or in documentaries
of the Metro when the doors chime
and it's open and closed time

with the sufferings airbrushed out
with the professional faces blurred and 
perfect in its statuary; its petals

unfolding every april.

mary angela douglas 24 october 2015