[POEM] Brooklyn


I used to have to ask how to spell it, wasn’t sure
about the placement of the y or how many n‘s there were.
But now I can never forget, each letter etched in my brain.
It’s a simple word: two syllables
but it weaves a complex chain through my body,
ending with a sharp pain in my heart.
The soft “lyn” feels like a dagger, slicing little paper cuts down my arms.
Not soft at all.

It’s a subject of poems,
a lover’s home,
a dream within a dream,
a place of escape and magic.
It’s got food I’ve never heard of, restaurants on every corner.
I know I’ll never eat authentic Japanese food at any place found along College Ave.

But I feel awkward in it, knowing it’s already been explored by lovers past.
How can I share a place that has already experienced so much of the same?
I see concrete, brownstones I can’t afford, trash rolling on the streets.
I see lovers on a park bench, caressing one another.
I see lovers, walking down Windsor Place, her hand holding his arm.
I see lovers laughing over tea at the local coffee shop.
I see a lover, down on both knees, asking the other to
not marry him.

It’s just that two syllable word.

Even Prospect Park, the subject of so many songs and poems
its lovely grassy fields, large pond, urban wildlife,
is a sad representation of what’s really out there.
Have you ever gotten lost under the canopy of trees of a state park?
The path barely big enough for our own two feet,
so we walk, one behind the other. There is no holding hands.
Left over Autumn still has a fresh crunch,
even though it’s May, and everything is in bloom.
I love stomping through thickets of rhododendrons, any time of year.
In winter, the white snow lays heavy on the leaves.
In early summer, flowers bloom, caught in a maze of purple and pink.
You have a pond in the middle of concrete buildings.
I have a lake in Northern Ontario with thousands of islands,
and nothing around for hundreds of miles.

Brooklyn is a place of illusion.
Even though I’ve walked those streets and strolled that park,
it’ll never feel how I want it to feel.
How you have felt it.


Gina Thompson
March 18, 2014
Bellefonte, PA


About Gina Marie Thompson

writer • mom • trail runner • cheese slinger • educator • social justice crusader • seeker of love & beauty• living locally • I CHOOSE LOVE ❤️
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