The sound of sneakers
scraping against a sidewalk.
Basketball courts in the park,
handball games lasting until dark,
youth whirling in an energetic swirl,
running to catch the light,
running the bases in a game of
curbball, the northern summer light fading
slowly, until darkness called us home.
Or: the taste of Skittles,
fed to you by slim brown fingers,
perfume intoxicating, her presence
near you addling your mind,
as you walked in a neighborhood
not your own, away from school,
from parents, from all cares,
just the taste of the candy,
and soon the taste of her lips,
her tongue, first love,
unforgettable. An entire world
recreated, with the unhappy ending,
but happy all these years later.
Or: the smell of urine
as I descend into the A train station,
whisking myself away to the Village,
or Soho, or Washington Square,
away from what I knew
to places where I could see
my future; to bookstores,
the Main Branch, the original
Macy’s, a trip from home and hearth
to where I was my own master,
scouring the city, at one with it.
The triggers of memory which
when we are unaware carry us
to places we’d forgotten,
to times eaten up by the sands.
I remember that? That happened?
Is that how I felt?
Yes, yes, again yes to all those questions.
You may be more knowing,
but you know little more than you
knew then, when every day
taught you something, opening the world
to you, and life, terrible life,
struck you with God’s awe.
Every memory an inward yelp
of joy that time is not past,
but ever present, the foundation
of anything worthy.
6 thoughts on “Petite madeleines”
Thank you so much for writing this poem. Your poem triggered so many memories for me. I had to take the A train every day when I lived in Brooklyn and went to college and worked in New York City from 1975 to 1986.
The A train was my escape from Washington Heights down to the Village and Soho.
I would take the LL train and get off at the last stop, 14th St., if I had to get to the village by train.
To: Liberal Librarian
Good afternoon Liberal Librarian,
As I have stated to you on many occasions, your writings are excellent, and I will miss them dearly. I hope that you will bring more of them to your site. You have a wealth of knowledge and understanding of today’s complex issues. I marvel at your insight along with Mr. Bobfr’s and others who contribute. One is never too old to learn.
Thank you so much.
Today, I wrote a post today at 1:15 p. m. (10 year ago tonight), regarding an interview that I witnessed on the Michael Putney show with Mr. Alcee Hastings. I was disturbed by what I witnessed in the interview. I tried to explain it clearly, as to what was said, so that everyone could see what the Democratic politicians continue to do to President Obama. I “am not” a writer, and like most, I try to give clarity by saying it the way I see it. I was disturbed by his interview; understanding that we all have free speech, but I personally felt that he lied to Floridians.
I support President Obama, not because he’s black, but because he is a man who is standing up for my rights along with everyone else that he is fighting for. It hurts deeply when I see attacks on him. So when I witness something, I report details so that TOD will know what is happening, just as I see others who are doing the same. I don’t comment on a lot of things because I’m consistently learning, and no one can find a post by me at TOD or any blog, stating negative comments or bringing negative comments to TOD. I give words of encouragement 99% of the time, and other times, I have expressed my anger as so many do.
However, it appears that Chipsticks believe that I brought something negative to TOD about President Obama, and it’s just not true. My writing points out what took place in that interview, and I expressed my anger for what was said, and my continued support for President Obama.
For posting what I had witnessed, Chipsticks closed me out from posting again to TOD. I have no understanding what I did wrong when I expressed my own anger and my support for President Obama.
July 27, 2014 at 1:58 pm
Cindy, this is becoming a bit of a habit, bringing negative nonsense about PBO to TOD 🙂
Because you are a member of TOD, and a contributor, I would like to ask you if you could “please” deliver this message to Chipsticks and TOD.
I never intended to offend you, Chipsticks or anyone with reporting what I witnessed this morning. I was angry and I was insulted by what Mr. Hastings said about President Obama, and what Ms. Peggy Noonan wrote in her column. I was sharing with all of you what I had witnessed so that everyone would know what was going on, believing that this will make news in the week coming up. I witness others doing the same, and I never see it as being negative. I believe that when I am informed, I can speak back with facts when I come into contact with those who don’t support President Obama.
I respect that TOD can cut off anyone they choose but in this case, I don’t understand why it was done to me. Anyone can go through “all of TOD’S history” and see, that “I have never brought negative” posts or comments about President Obama to TOD. That’s not who I am and it’s not what I do.
I witnessed something that I thought TOD should know about and I reported it, not knowing that I would be disbarred from posting for doing so.
I see that Jovie has ruffled some feathers (as he has done in other posts) in the current post, “read out of the president’s call pm netanyahu, and TOD hasn’t cut him off from posting. All I did was report what I witnessed.
Like a child, if I did something wrong, why not inform me? If you, Chipsticks or TOD had said; Cindy don’t report back on interviews, I would have understood, but to be removed from posting and not understanding what I did wrong, adds pain to one’s heart. Like I said LL, you nor anyone at TOD can find a negative post by me, it doesn’t exist because I support President Obama with my heart, my work and finances.
Again, thank you for your beautiful and informed writings, and I sincerely apologize to you, Chipsticks and all of TOD.
I totally missed that, Cindy. I’ve been enjoying a lazy Sunday afternoon. I’ll pass your message along to Chips.
Hi Liberal Librarian,
I hope that you and your wife are enjoying your lazy Sunday, didn’t mean to interrupt anything. I am human and truth matters with me. I respect everyone, and I don’t go around trying to offend or hurt anyone Liberal Librarian, that’s why it’s important for me to apologize to people if they are offended by something I’ve done. I will apologize when I’ve been told that something was wrong, but I didn’t know what I did wrong today, in reporting something I witnessed.
I reported what I saw and heard on TV and I was informing TOD as I have seen others do. I was a child of the 50’s, and I remember the dark pass of my childhood during that period, and being hated for the color of my skin. I support this President with every fiber in my bones because he is for “all of us” and that is why I love and respect President Obama. I have and I will continue to defend what he does for America because his heart is for all of mankind.
As I said, no one can find a post written by me, speaking against President Obama, and I mean no one. As I conveyed in my earlier thoughts; to see Chipsticks comment as stated, surprised and hurt me because I have never done what I was accused of doing. To post that, as if I have done something wrong and habitual, was not right to do to me.
I understand that people have their favorites to communicate with on TOD but I don’t want to be accused of hurting you, Chipsticks or TOD with something that’s just not true. I pray for the supporters at TOD, I pray for the President, his family and Administration; encourage others to support President Obama when I am outside of TOD and give with my finances. This is what truth is – I support President Barack H. Obama.
Here’s what I wrote today, and I “never” thought that anyone would be offended. If someone had explain to me that reporting interviews are not good, I would have understood.
July 27, 2014 at 1:15 pm
Wishing everyone a very “BEAUTIFUL” and “BLESSED” Sunday,
Sunday early morning services ended; you come home to relax, and try to get caught up with the happenings of local and world news, and you’re met with………
U.S Representative Alcee Hastings was a guest on the Michael Putney show (Florida), and I was somewhat surprised by his comments regarding President Obama. Putney read off a list of complaints about President Obama; that has come from Democrats and Republicans in Congress. I know Mr. Hastings, and have known him through various cycles of his life, from Judge to politician. I don’t feel that he has to support the President because they are “both black men”, just as I didn’t vote for President Obama just because he is black. I don’t live in Washington, and I don’t know what goes on behind those closed doors in the White House. However, I was taken aback by some of the answers he provided today.
On the issue of the President not reaching out to Congress, he agreed, and I don’t feel that this is a correct statement. Mr. Hastings stated that
he has voiced his complaints about this over the years, and because he is friends with Dr. Susan Rice, he contacted her. He did state that President Obama has been inviting the Democrats and Republicans to the White House more frequent now, since Dr. Rice involvement.
I haven’t heard anything about this but then again, there are days that I walk away from all of the madness and clear my space. Mr. Hastings stated that he has talked with Hillary Clinton, Colin Powell and C. Rice over the issues of foreign affairs but they couldn’t make head way with the president, until recently, because of Dr. S. Rice intervention.
Mr. Hastings stated that the President should have gone to the borders, not for a picture but to talk to the Border Patrols and to make sure that they understood how to handle the crisis. I have always advocated “against” this and was pleased that President Obama didn’t go to the borders.
Peggy Noonan has done another hit piece on the President, and it’s ugly; stating that the President is shallow and hangs out with Hollywood stars and athletes but he avoids Washington. Putney read her full statement to Mr. Hastings, and he (Hastings) simply stated; President Obama is an intellectual and “does better” with handling guys like Putin. What the hell does that mean?
I know that no perfect scenario exist in politics but from what I have observed, is that President Obama has reached out to Congress from day one, and from day one, Congress has acted like a fool (putting it mildly). Mr. Hastings has a right to speak about issues as they all do but I was not prepared to hear him say what he said today.
What does President Obama have to do to satisfy Congress? Mr. Hastings, to his credit, pointed out the number of deaths in Iraq and he pointed out other issues that matters. I just don’t understand the politics of not supporting this President, because Mr. Hastings and the other Dems were right there with former President Clinton. Clinton could do no wrong in their eyes even when he was wrong. I detest Noonan and I hope that someone will answer her op-ed in the President’s defense because her statement will lead the news this week, and probably because Mr. Hastings is black, his statement will be used to support the repukes lies – never ending saga.
Roses are red and violets are blue, I’ll keep my trust in President Barack H. Obama, because this is nothing new (but it still pisses me off).
I reported an interview that I witnessed, so again, I apologize to you, Chipsticks, and TOD for offending you all, because that was never my intent and I didn’t know that I did.
Have a wonderfully and blessed Sunday evening.