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earth note 180

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Message e b bortz
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broke in my new sneakers today
walking home from downtown
about three and a half miles uphill
a sunny 60 degrees
even past the cemetery
markers gathering moss from the civil war
and it all probably happened
just about the same
fifty years ago
past my old high school
      i'd walk
and though i didn't run in
to anyone i knew
looking for the old blue bell diner
      couldn't place the spot exactly
with all the vacant lots now
but i still heard the bass man
from the marcels
'cause he used to
      loaf there

& city steps going down
to charles street
or up to buena vista
could use some patchwork
though they probably don't get
the traffic like before
when the streets were crammed
with houses & stores
and a drumbeat from the living
had a way of nudging the restless
into leaving with their dreams

& now i just do my best
pinching myself
in the beauty
of every step
      every mile
      & yet to come

--- e b bortz


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Poems, essays, and stories by e b bortz have been published widely.
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