Sunday, October 3, 2010

Goodbye Pronto Mart. We Already Miss You. Shop at Speedway Market!

In honor of Constance and Roger and the Old Pronto Mart that served Hyde Park for more than 30 years—and to spite the Poetry-Hating Money-Grubbing Californians that took their jobs away—a poem by Albert Huffstickler, dealing appropriately with the subject of loss.

It's a time of people gone:
Helen, the street dancer, dead,
Melvin, old black man in the
neighborhood almost as long as
me-oddjobbing to extend his
monthly check. He's diabetic
too, has a foot infected, may
have to have it off, Pete the
barber says. No more scouring
the neighborhood for yard work.
It was his neighborhood too
even though he lived somewhere
else, showed up on the bus
every morning to be fed his
morning coffee by Stephanie
at the bakery. I couldn't
understand half he said, it
was mostly about work or the
lack of it. So he's gone-
another one of those fringe
people, not someone you focus
on, more like seen from the
corner of your eye, hardly
noticing till they're gone.
It's autumn today, the first
chilly grey day we've had,
and Helen's gone and Melvin
and don't forget mad Anthony
who talks to the air and
bums change for beer, his
smell a menace that you're
glad to buy off. Autumn.
People gone, the earth's
immense sorrow exemplified by
the loss of her strays.
The wind mourns, the grey air
troubles the trees and our
thoughts and something in us
is grieving-for Helen,
Melvin, Mad Anthony but
most of all ourselves.

1 comment:

  1. Unleaded $1.15?! Cigs $2.89? Well that's an old photo...of a place far away in time and location...I'm still amazed that Pasha was that old, he sure didn't seem like he was in his 60s!