Saturday in the City
In a lazy bar off Route 18,
Jackie remembers the city, her father’s
green Ford edging through
the Holland Tunnel, the bricks,
the rain, Canal Street’s expanse
like a hundred lit angels
dancing on a dime. She was seven.
It was 1957 and the Yankees
would lose the Series.
Joey cried in the backseat;
no one could believe the radio.
But there’d be dinner at Marlon’s
and a movie and Aunt Sadie’s
funny-smelling couch, the adults
drinking bourbon from smoky,
blue glasses and Uncle Ray’s cigar.
It was good to be seven in the city
with a stack of Mickey Mouse Club
coloring books. And colored pencils
from Feldman’s instead of crayons--
this is what the city meant.
And she loved looking
at Manhattan from the window,
the taxi lights in the rain,
the men in their telescope hats,
the ladies in their pillboxes.
Falling to sleep as the adults
caressed the night with gossip
and booze, she sought to recall
the façade of St. Patrick’s
and her mother’s level eyes,
hating to go home, hating gray
Piscataway on a Sunday afternoon.