Ode To Chicago (A Culture Shock and Home Sick Piece)


I miss you city of wind and wild things,

City of cold steel and crystal clear mornings.

I miss your Midwestern hugs,

so tight they knock the soul right back into you,

Airplanes bustling in and out of O’Hare,

the sound of never-sleeping, but always coming home.

I miss your pizza.

None of this thin crust papery nonsense,

but layers of polish sausage, extra Malnati’s sauce on the side,

heavy on the butter crust,

leaving me feeling like a pizza can really love you.

I miss you, Chicago.

Smooth city, some kind of troubled city,

city with the Sears Tower, never Willis.

You are the beating of a rocket-fueled heart,

Your polar vortexes a reminder to slow down and stay awhile,

somewhere warm where love lives.

I love your coldness,

the way your icicles glint and shimmer,

making garages look like kingdoms.

I miss you for your “polite” drivers,

no scooter driving on sidewalks, at least,

speed like sweet breeze and the drone of the AC,

radio blasting as if tomorrow needed a wake-up call.

I am that jade jazz giant,

halfway between home and somewhere not-so,

Not knowing who exactly I can be, but singing the blues all the way


So, remember me.

Like Oak Park block parties and “Oh, Lord” neighbors,

Like biking my Scwhinn down Green St. racing the sunlight,

Like “through the garden” Chicago dogs eaten at Wrigley,

memories so sweet I have a heartache.



Remember that I love you, Chicago.


All photos are my own.




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