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Ode to Chicago, part 1

Oh, Chicago

a wound in my heart that will never heal

for it is you that have raised me

it is you that have shown me

one day could be summer, winter, spring and fall

tornados, and flash-flood warnings

Black, White, Arab, Middle-Eastern, Desi, Polish, Hispanic, Asian, Italian, or African communities and their mixing

watching time pass sitting on porch stoops

the smell of BBQ in the summer, drugstores

cornrows, microbraids, currency exchange

reggaeton, Rap, R&B, Pop and Country blasting in cars

red cardinals and winter, squirrels running, racoons rummaging in trash cans

trains passing through, heavy traffic, helpful strangers

Muslims, Jews, Atheists, Christians, Catholics, Hindus

street corner vendors, the EL, CTA and Pace bus services

Irish pubs, baseball, football, cigarettes

weed smoke, loud people, afros and weaves

rich people, poor people, homeless, and prostitutes

the change in landscape and people south to north, north to west... westside

police, red-light traffic laws, Walgreens vs. CVS

salt pothole streets, dirty cars, shoveling snow

coyotes, bunnies, neighbors, and grass lawns

cool nights, hot nights, muggy air and pollution, neck-to-neck brick homes

graffiti art, poetry slams, spoken word, and 6-way streets

liquor stores, corner stores, hustlers and Whole Foods

Rainbow beach, music, drugs, and hospital bills

stores, stores, stores and stores

cultural programs, coffee, poverty, crime

13-year olds committing theft and violence

gunshots, murders, and domestic violence reports

riots, protesting, angered crowds, and tulips

stormwater, basements, churches on every corner, high-rise buildings

seasonal colds, community service, charity

niqabis hijabis and naked women, quiet nights

athans, beards, lesbians and puke chunks in the street

alleys, hipster men, garbage trucks and feral cats

winter coats, gloves and socks

family, friends, home and surviving

braids, art, bands, and beer drinkers

and monuments

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