I remember a basement apartment Filled with laughter and hope
I remember the candy store on the corner…
We survived on egg creams and pizza and pirogue!
We lived in the alphabet – anything was possible.
We were holy and profane.
I remember the 3 flight walk up,
Above Brothers and Sisters on Theater Row…
Eight of us lived there in two rooms until I moved next door
And music filtered up from Barbara Allen’s…
It has changed too.
I remember the 5 foot walk up
With the Chinese restaurant on the corner
(They served the food on pedestals under domed steel)
Before it became an Ann Taylor
Before it was all torn down for a luxury high rise
With a Starbucks where the…what was on that other corner
It took away all my afternoon and evening light..
In those days I only faced West.
I remember the 6 flight walk-up
With the toilet in a closet in the hall
And the bathtub in the kitchen
On a street filled with coffee houses and music and bad poetry
(And sometimes good too)
I remember 110 steps up from an elevated train into
The woods of Manhattan
Filled with children of all
Languages and faiths and colors.
I remember when I had buns of steel and was climbing to the stars.
I remember when the twin towers fell,
And the horror of it mixed with incredible feelings of loss and belonging…
Belonging to New York, to each other, to this Earth.
And I think perhaps we are not longing for the buildings of the past,
As much as those feelings of belonging.
Perhaps misunderstand nostalgia…
Is it simply a Divine imprint in our hearts
Reminding us we belong?
Holy and profane,
We always belong.