You don’t know if you’re good enough
You can bet your dreams will be battered
So just go after what you love.
~ John Gorka, Out of the Valley
I marched into the park from Madison Avenue,
staring down green-stained grandstanding Moses
as he poured parlor tricks from his rocky dais.
“I always thought you might be one of them,
you being published and all,” I said to him.
Just to bust his ass, I strode past the Lake House,
waved my arms and parted groundbound pigeons
like the Red Sea. I don’t think anyone got me…again.
All I wanted was to look up from reading my words
and see someone in Albany share a little joy.
I figured Bronze Bobby Burns around the corner
might intently sit to listen to my poems.
Squirrels scattered like rolling whitecaps
as I approached and stood in the poet’s shadow.
I read him some Albany pieces, ‘cause
I remember when the city and I had a love affair.
At the end of Champagne Tommy,
tulips nodded in the breeze, the bells
in City Hall applauded To Wander Adrift,
and a kid wearing big headphones walked by,
rocking his head to But Don’t Touch.
To my right, a robin chittered and
flapped his wings in the dirt, so I read an encore —
Whisper of Light. It was enough.
I knew my old girl didn’t hate me.