Wednesday, February 25 Boston’s Back Bay, April 20, 1983
Boston is my second city, after Motown. I’ve lived there 7 different times, whole years and half years, at MIT and Boston College. The city is dear to me, dear with familiar urban mazeways, (like where to get my car fixed, my hair cut, my teeth tended, when to avoid heavy traffic if you can manage it, how to plan contemplative times beside the sailboat basin of the Charles, whether to walk from my Jesuit house in the Back Bay over the Mass Ave or the Longfellow bridge. All those years have connected me with friends, soul friends who keep these sensual memories from drifting into nostalgia.
This monstrous hammering patch of winter is more real and sensual because of soul friends whose closeness helps me to imagine the city’s fatigue. Alas it’s nowhere near over, either. When the storms let up all those feet of snow still have to melt and all that water has to go somewhere.
Yesterday an idea for today’s post snuck up on me. I am posting a playful poem I wrote one April afternoon in 1983 after walking across the Mass Ave Bridge heading home after a work day at MIT. Is the poem whimsy, or a reminder, or a promise, or a blessing? Doesn’t matter. Blessings from Motown where the morning sun is kissing the top of the tall evergreen outside my west-facing window.
Today’s Post — Meeting at Rush Hour
A gust of wind
sent the metal street sign for Charlie’s Tavern
skittering fifteen feet up Newbury Street,
an unlikely sailboat
escaped, perhaps, from the Charles.
The clatter and improbability
set us both free.
She looked twenty two,
blond and lovely,
going the other way
and no doubt equally homeward bound.
In our sudden bemusement
at the sign’s startled venture
our eyes touched.
Then, the wonder.
Delight at our moment’s kinship
freed us from fear
from strategy and burden.
She flashed fire at me
and I, no doubt, at her.
A moment’s celebration quickly passed–
rare and winsom beauty,
breathed through two human forms
filling us with awe.
We went our ways with no word spoken,
both journeys blessed.
April 20, 1983