One Night Downtown


We walked along Michigan avenue
the green water of the Chicago river
lapping against the tour boats
the violinist on the street
a hat at his feet-his tones
dropping into lower Wacker drive

Romance was in the air- for hours
we watched the fog rise off the water
and play around the parapets
etching our names into the slat of a bench
eating popcorn-our fingers greasy
against each other holding hands

When we arrived at our hotel, we laid back
watching the news and talking quietly
changing channels from game show to talk show
the news gripping us-the violence in the streets
while we had been there-falling in love
blood spilled someone’s love all over the concrete

When we talk about the memory now, all is changed
from the loveliest date ever
to the night someone we never knew
lost her baby boy



Monday random: condiments

  • Summer and I have a love/hate relationship. He caresses my face and neck and chest and makes me sweat and I wipe it off.
  • That is the extent of our lovemaking. Just about the time I am sick of him, he sends rain that soothes my spirit, and roses to delight the eyes.
  • And then there is BBQ.


  • The majority of Americans seem fine with planning every family event around the hottest and buggiest of the summer days.
  • If I had my way, every picnic would be between September and October or early May.
  • But they ply me with grilled burgers and beer and potato salad and I let them. Because, well, it’s BBQ.

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A Golden Age

Chicago Cultural Center
Chicago Cultural Center 78 E. Washington, Chicago IL


Age appears to be best in four things; old wood best to burn, old wine to drink, old friends to trust, and old authors to read.  -Francis Bacon

Walking around my beloved Chicago, I do find my eyes more often passing over the new to admire the old, particularly the architecture that came out of the era just after the great fire in 1871. The Chicago Cultural Center was opened in 1897. Originally the city’s central library, it was converted in the late 70’s to an arts and culture center. I love this building. I walk around it every time like it is the first time. And the real beauty for me of this corner of Michigan and Washington is the old buildings flanked by the new. But for now, let’s look back.

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One city has the key to the door of my heart

Chicago river.jpg


Today I wanted to join in with Norm’s Thursday Doors feature for the first time. I enjoy it each week and though the photos from my little camera can’t hold a candle to his, I wanted to share the ones that featured doors.

This is part a of part 1 of a walking tour I am taking through Chicago with my husband. My stamina could be better so we are taking it in pieces, and on this trip we walked a circle from the train station on Canal Street up Madison, a bit of a skirt through Monroe, then to Michigan Avenue. On the way back, we took Washington because he lost his set of photos from our last visit to Daley Plaza when a computer died. Yes, back-up would have been wise. Let’s not reopen that wound.

I took a few pictures and looked for benches to sit or walls to lean so I could scribble a few verses to take home with me–while he took his hundreds of pictures. I just like to be there. But I did get a few photos to share.

St Peter's Catholic Church
St. Peter’s–110 W. Madison

The sunshine was unrelenting, but kind when it came to photographs. I get a kick out of light and shadow. I especially loved this view of the cross above the door when I looked up.

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Current events

Attempting a turn right onto the main drag
the street more clogged with cars than normal
due to the flooded out streets–laying low
and they come–and they keep coming

I try to be patient, listening to the radio
a story on NPR about being poor
and their unexpected joy. I
turn on the fan for my face is wet
noon sun through the windshield

A spot opens and a Civic changes lanes
so that I can turn. I mouth a thank you
saying it aloud to only myself
always grateful for sudden kindness

For it feels scarce lately, how about we
yank up some feeling from Christmas-time
because we all feel beaten up by it, you know
what -it- is, the hate that runs deep
and seems to have no bottom

The killing, yes the killing, don’t we all
know what we are talking about, but
the real pain is insidious
words that scald and take years to turn
murderers are made not born

and hate is grown
in a big, wide petri dish

Rest in peace

Did you tidy up before leaving
did you make waffles for breakfast
and make the beds before you showered
did you read some chapters from a novel
or walk hundreds of stairs
did you know it was your last day

Did you make love
did you fantasize about your first meeting
did you eat your favourite doughnut and feel guilty
were you apprehensive about your eye doctor
telling you how your eyes have changed
at so young an age

Did you sing along with the radio
did you dance in your shower
did your kids fuss and make a mess
of cheerios on the sofa watching cartoons
did you get online and tell the world
about the pimple on your back

Did you walk past a church
did it make you think of your mother
did you smile when a child burped
and laughed, or did you scold
did you wipe up the baby’s spit-up
did you know it was your last day


In memory of Nykea Aldridge and all of the 762 people murdered in Chicago in 2016.

I tried to write a well – spoken tribute in her honor and for her children because I was so moved by what happened. The words just wouldn’t come. If we are this stunned by this murder, I can’t imagine how her family feels, especially after finding out the murderers were let out of prison early. If they don’t let this justice system work, it will never ….well, work.

I hate epilogues. But I felt I had to say something. Anything.