For Brad and the Riviera 

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.


About eteal

Reverend Teal is a minister, chaplain, artist and storyteller. She specializes in the human-animal bond and all its healing aspects.
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1 Response to For Brad and the Riviera 

  1. Marie Marfia says:

    So lovely.

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