in the afternoon,
everyone is contentious:
a man raises his voice
in disagreement.
at lunch, he spoke loudly
but was kind.
"in the '50s and '60s,"
he said,
"east new york"
was a great place to live.
sometimes, he said,
"we'd take the train to coney
island, the rockaways,"
and at home,
until dusk
there were all those kids
in all those parks.
"i never thought," he says,
"growing up
i never thought
hey, we're really damned poor.
i don't remember wanting
anything."

September 2005