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Brooklyn Memories, Summer 1968

By John I. Blair

All the tight-built, hilly
Blocks in Brooklyn,
Stone, steel, asphalt, brick,
Seemed to be sliding

Gradually into the harbor.
The steamy summer days
And breathless third-floor
Bedroom left me wishing

For the subway’s cool gloom
Deep beneath Fourth Avenue
Or the bridge-top breeze
At Smith and Ninth.

On Manhattan Beach, the vendor
Yelled “Hot knishes, cold drinks”
While pudgy ladies in skirted suits
Trudged across the coarse sand.

And one night we walked into the park,
Lured by a concert at the lake,
Lovers all around us, laughing,
Talking softly in the dark.

But fear, the New York devil,
Lurking in the tangled trees,
Chased us back to lighted streets
And a downtown bus to a bolted door.

©2006 John I. Blair

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