Wednesday, June 13, 2012

A proud moment . . .

Back in 2008, local visionary and Saint Paul artist in residence, Marcus Young, started an annual sidewalk poetry contest. City residents were invited to enter the contest to have their winning poems permanently installed on city sidewalks. Young came up with the idea after learning about the public works department’s annual sidewalk replacement program. Because of age and deterioration, the city replaces about 10 miles of sidewalk each year. “I like the unlikely pairing of poetry and sidewalk replacement,” Young said. “Sidewalks are clearly a necessity, yet creating beauty and mystery with public art is equally important. We must build well both the hard durable structures of our city and the soft spaces for our collective imagination."

In 2009, my poem, November, was one of five poems chosen to be installed in various locations around the city. And last week, it was installed in front of my daughter and son-in-law's home. What a thrill! Several months ago, we learned the city had to replace the sidewalks on their block and requested the installation. Dreams do come true, because the poem is now prominently displayed for all their friends and neighbors to enjoy. The really fun part of all this is that the men installing the sidewalk invited my little granddaughter to put her tiny hand-print in the wet cement! What a proud moment for this grandma (and a messy moment for my daughter)! I can already see her playing jump rope and hopscotch over my words. You can't tell, but I'm smiling a great big ol' happy-Grandma-smile!

Autumn winds drag leaves from the trees,
clog streets in a dreary finale.
Bare branches crisscross heavy sky.
Icy rain spatters, ink-blots pavement.
I settle at my window, stare into
thick black flannel, search the woolly
lining of the night for winter.

No comments:

Post a Comment