Sunday Means Forty-Second Street

Kneeling in the Forty-Second street alley,
cord tight above elbow bend,
vein swollen and ready,

Mother, on his arm,
watches,  and patiently waits.

Sundays it's always the Square,
flashing sign drawing his eyes 
briefly towards heaven.

His church.
She always told him to go.

Hard to remember her clearly now.
Life eats his childhood daily, 
fogging memories of a figure in blue, 
scent of gardenias in damp air,
heels clattering over hardwood floor.

She would like it that he comes here.
Everybody needs remembrance
of a mother's cool hand.

Pris Campbell

In Lotus Journal, June 2003

and in Outlaw Poets, July 2010

Photograph: Times Square, New York

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