Here We Name Them ‘Way’


Cart and horse scaled streets, some cities have

Alleys couched that way enough the British might say mews,

Doors silent the size to walk through

Not interrogate your journey, big

Mouthing in stasis the importance

Of their place, ready to say not your

Destination; but here, actually home in the alley.


The neighborhood is changing

People are moving in as out

Faster than we can see who is

Going to be here, who the violence will leave

Unclear, who unafraid;


The street scale   without moving I could talk across

A line of words as easily as walk

To hand some of the first fresh ripe

Tomatoes I’d hosed clean because I know

You’re going to bite into one right there

Your way to let me know you think I know

How to live   across the street

Ed Robertson was born and raised in Pittsburgh and was once a tank man in an Aquazoo. His is the author of several collections of poetry, including Atmosphere Conditions, City Eclogue, and To See the Earth Before the End of the World. He lives in Chicago.

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Further Reading

 August 14

Williamson is neither a kooky radical nor a spiritual crusader, but rather a thinly disguised conservative moralist.

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